‘Life is not a problem to be solved but a story to be lived’
We all love a good story, the twist and turns, the drama and excitement. Then there’s the biggy, what happens at the end, how will it work out for the heroes?
At the start of Covid 19 I was impacted by a statement by Andy Stanley, leader of North Point Church, Atlanta who we are privileged to partner with as a church.
He said this, “When the story of Covid 19 is just a story we tell, let’s make sure our stories are worth telling”
With the recent announcement of a further 6 or more months of this season, after my initial deflation I asked myself this, “what stories will I tell from this season? What stories will we tell?”
The challenge is we all have a narrative in our minds that almost acts as a soundtrack. It comes from experiences, personality, setback, disappointment. The average person has more than 60k thoughts a day and 80% of those are said to be negative!
Business leader and author Seth Godin said, “People don’t believe what you tell them, they rarely believe what you show them, they sometimes believe what their friends tell them, they always believe what they tell themselves”
One of my favourite stories in the Bible is the story of Gideon, he had a narrative that acted like a soundtrack to his life. The nation were in lockdown living in caves and strongholds why? Enemies were invading, some with a weapon never seen before in warfare..the Camel!! (It was unprecedented!!!!)
The result was fear, containment, restriction and a deep sense of hopelessness.
Gideon articulates his and their narrative when God calls him to write a better story.
WHERE are you God?
HOW could I ever write a story worth telling?
After all I’m the weakest and the least!”
Jeff Lucas in his book on Gideon says the word ‘weakest’ means disheveled messy hair and ‘least’ means the runt of the litter. Gideon’s narrative, his story is literally, “‘I’m the runt in the bad hair day tribe of Israel’
As we face this next season, how can we write stories that are worth telling?
Let me suggest a few truths to hold on to……
- The story God has for your life is always greater than the story you have for your life – we can settle for safe prayers or we can pray some dangerous prayers. We can push into the deep or we can stay in the shallows…it’s your choice.
- The voice you listen to will shape the story you write – let’s change our narrative, let’s stop saying things like, “I’m all zoomed out….I have online fatigue….” after all technology has been a gift of connection and who knows, might be the only connection we have at times….it’s your choice.
- The choices you make today will affect the stories you tell tomorrow – the choice to engage or disconnect, the choice to turn inwards or face outwards, the choice to wrestle with God or to give up…its your choice.
Church leaders….what are the stories we will tell from this season?
A story of fatigue and burn out or a story of establishing life giving rhythms?
A story of binary choices or a story of managing the tension which creates expansion? (It’s not either/or it’s both/and….gathered AND scattered….big AND small….attractional AND missional…..deep AND wide….)
A story of ungrieved losses or a story of ‘good grief’ that leads to a deeper trust?
I’d love you to take a few minutes to listen to this song…let it inspire you, provoke you and challenge you then get your ‘pen’ out and let’s commit to writing stories that are worth telling…