Nov 20, 2009
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away, a great adventure took place.” Those words are the opening for… come on, now… that’s it, Star Wars. How about this one, for you literary types: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (Tale of Two Cities) Or this one, “Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, where Christopher Robin played…” (It’s from Winnie the Pooh). Depending on your background and life experience, simply hearing the opening words of a familiar story can trigger memories, waves of nostalgia. We love stories. We’re shaped by them, we learn from them. And, to one degree or another, we find ourselves in a story.
Maybe you hadn’t considered this, but you have a story that is all yours– the story of your life. It’s the one you are living in right now. Perhaps it’s a story with lots of twists and turns and unexpected detours. Some days it might feel like a romance, others like a sit-com. Most people I talk to seem to feel that their story is not very interesting, not deeply significant or stirring. I couldn’t disagree more.
Your story matters. It matters because it’s yours- it belongs to you, the only one who gets to live it, to walk in it, to take your particular journey. It matters because it is unique. And it matters because of the One whose opinion counts most. God says that your story matters. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” says the Author of your story. “I have plans for you- to give you a future and a hope”, says God, the greatest story-writer ever.
And he invited you and I to live our story before Him and with Him and others, and to do it fully, as engaged participants. Far too many people these days seem to be walking through their lives as if they were spectators to someone else’s story. But your story, your life, is not a book to be amused by, or a tale to listen to with bland detachment. This is your one and only life- enter it fully, deeply, passionately! And mostly, pay attention. One of my favorite authors, Frederich Buechner, says it this way:
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, tastes, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
“Once upon a time, there was… there is…you.” Live that story.