We’ve heard it a million times, but what if it’s wrong? Or, what if there’s perhaps a better, more helpful way to think of it.
Suppose, instead of “I have a story,” you and I re-frame the narrative a bit.
You don’t have a story. You are a story.
Suppose, rather than talking about your story, you thought in terms of living it out, actively, every moment of every day. What if you’re not telling your story to others, but living it and experiencing it in relationship with them?
We’re creatures of story.
Humans are wired for stories. It’s how we best learn about, relate to, and connect with others and our environment. God didn’t provide a list of rules and facts about Himself. He gave us a story called the Bible. And when the time was right He sent Jesus to LIVE the story (the word became flesh and lived among us). And He told us to do likewise.
Living your story changes everything. Can’t just say the words, preach from a stage, offer advice from a distance. Living your story means doing what Jesus did, inviting people in, letting them close – even “those” people, the non-religious folks as well as the religious types who might try to kill you.
I’m thinking a lot about stories because our FREEDOM TOUR teams will gather soon. We hope to create deep connection by sharing our stories. I’m understanding that storytelling isn’t enough.
It’s easy for storytelling to become old war stories. We think we’re “opening up” when we’re really hiding behind tales of Glory Days gone by. It’s fun, but doesn’t create the sort of connections we all seek.
No easy way to do this. Living my story means I forgive instead of talking about forgiveness. It means I do grace and love and acceptance rather than telling others about them. It means walking the path together and co-writing a messy, unedited, live-action version of the story.
YOU are a story someone needs more than you can imagine. I’d like to let you off the hook, tell you some carefully-chosen, revealing words will suffice. But Jesus says people don’t need your words.
They need you.