Be the Story
Everybody loved Aunt Ruby’s stories; they were filled with surprises, adventure, and more than a little imagination. She and Durwood lived in a broken-down, wood-framed, four room house just north of Harrison, Arkansas.
We would only visit every two years or so, but Ruby and Durwood always made the country visit an unforgettable experience for a city-kid.
This time the front door was missing, but the screen door was there swinging on a single hinge near the bottom. Chickens and turkeys and goats rambled in and out of the house like it was their own.
The clouds had been gathering all afternoon and they finally let loose. We all gathered on the porch, watching the lightning and waiting for the rain to stop. Ruby said, “Did I ever tell you city-kids about the time the tornado attacked us?”
“It was about five years ago on a night like this. That mean ol’ twister come across that hillside and lifted our house right off the ground. The kids were screamin‚ and hollerin‚ but the roar of the storm was so loud you could barely hear’m. We were all inside, rolling around the floor, trying to find something to hold on to. Finally, Durwood got curious, he wanted to see what was happening, so he crawled over to the door, and when he opened it‚ that ol’ house just blew apart. Our kids were scattered all over the countryside, and it took years to rebuild this ol’ shack. I guess you noticed, we never found the door. So, if you’re out walking through the woods and you see that ol’ door, let me know.”
I didn’t care for the outhouse, or the ticks and chiggers, but I loved the stories. It didn’t matter how true they were. There was something magical about the story times.
You hold the power
Regardless of our intentions, our stories reveal our values, our character, and our passions in life. They outlive us, like a permanent record that proves we really lived. Even the legendary stories filled with more fiction than fact are packed with hints of wonder and wisdom.
Stories are powerful and enduring. The stories of our lives weave together events so that we find meaning and a direction; a purpose. Without stories we life would be a collection of random, meaningless bullet points.
That old leather bound book called the Bible is filled with stories is a permanent record of God’s encounters with his creation. When we read those stories or hear them told we sense HIS values, HIS character, and HIS passion for HIS creation–HIS wonder and wisdom.
We can’t help it, we are story collectors. They inspire and empower us. Why do we not share our collection?
We are all about stories.
Everything we do on the Faith Team website is designed to push believers out of the shallows and into the deep, transforming convictions and wonder into insight and action. Along the way, we are discovering our place in God’s never-ending story. Each day we resonate more with that oldtimer we call Job. At the end of all his struggles he says, “I had heard of you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes,” Job 42:5.
Think through the stories you have collected.
Every step, yes, every step of the journey, God is there. He is not found at the end of the journey; he is found now, all along the way. Knowing God is not a goal to reach. It is an experience to enjoy. For me, every step of life is a potential “God thing.” That doesn’t mean I understand or have a deep spiritual awareness of God’s presence at every given moment; it means I choose to live life believing that I’m connected to the God of the universe, even when I don’t feel like it, or understand it.
So, think of your relationship with God as a “connect the dots” experience. Together, you and God connect the dots of your life. After you’ve lived a while, he helps you understand. He opens your eyes. He validates your trust.
God didn’t call Abraham to a destination; He called Abraham to an adventure. He calls us to that same adventure–the story of faith. His strength is embedded in them (Revelation 12:11).
Practice a bit
Remember a moment when you felt God’s presence; tell about it. Honor God by sharing your victories, failures, struggles, and surprises; tell about your breakthroughs, conflicts, rescues, transformations, and wilderness wanderings. Describe your fears, choices, and everyday realities.
The following questions will clear the cobwebs:
- When has God forced you to slow down and re-evaluate what’s really important in life?
- What causes some of us to want to explore the unknown even when that exploration might entail loss, pain, hardship, and death?
- When is the last time you walked through an open door instead of standing back praying for one?
- What personal sacrifice of yours has God turned into an unexpected blessing?
- Have you ever felt God was calling your name? What happened?
- Can you think of a time when God punched a hole in the sky and changed your world?
- What fear or failure has God given you the courage to face?
- Have you ever felt the fingerprints of God in your life?
Share your story with us.
Find the Story – Tell the Story – Be the Story
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Share your story with the Faith Team. God is already writing the next chapter. Time to be the story.
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