Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not fluff!

What comes to your mind when you read the following passage? Does it remind you of something?

“… [N]othing is more pleasing to the Holy One
than when you tell about the secret things
he is always doing for people
or trying to do if they give him half a chance.
I am thinking about all the things he has done for you
and your family, for instance.
Tell people about those things and never forget them yourself.
Tell them how
even on the darkest stretches of the road to Ecbatana,
he was always at your side
if you’d only had the eyes to see him.”
(Frederick Buechner,
emphasis mine)

I hope it reminds you of the theme verse for Spiritual Memoirs 101: 

Always remember, and never forget,
what you’ve seen God do for you,
and be sure to tell your children and grandchildren!
Deuteronomy 4:9

Here’s the same message in other words:

O God, let each generation tell its children of Your mighty acts;
let them retell stories of Your power.
Psalm 145:4

Stories … are far more than entertainment,” says Peter Guber. “They are the most effectiveform of human communication, more powerful than any other way of packaging information.… Stories…connect us to others.… Without stories … we couldn’t  understand ourselves. They provoke our memory and give us much of the framework for much of our understanding.… While we think of stories as fluff, … something extraneous to real work, they turn out to be the cornerstone of consciousness.” (Peter Guber; emphasis mine)

Think of this: You have worked hard for the wisdom you’ve gained over the years. You’ve shed tears over the hard lessons you’ve learned. You know the regret over making poor choices and by now you’ve learned how to make better choices.  You’ve figured out life a little—and your stories could help others avoid some of the foolishness and heartache you have experienced.

You have been confounded by questions that seem to have no answers.

You have seen—maybe up close, maybe from a distance—injustice, prejudice, hatred, violence, corruption.

You have also made good choices and wise decisions. You have lived in ways that spill over as blessings for others. You’ve made choices that have given you peace

You have experienced God and His grace. His love. His forgiveness. The curious—the surprising, even hilarious—ways He sometimes leads.

You have scraped through the dirt and rocks of life and unearthed gems, and over the years they’ve become shiny and polished.

You’ve discovered, maybe the hard way, maybe through trial and error, what real love is.

You’ve reevaluated what’s really important in life. Your heart has softened. You’ve worked hard for success—the right kind of success. You’ve learned to laugh at yourself.

Write your stories. Be transparent. Be honest. Go deep.

God uses stories. They are among His most powerful, compelling, effective tools.

“…You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus (emphasis mine)

Your stories can change hearts. Give hope. Inspire faith. Teach courage. Motivate tenacity. Trigger joy.

Don’t let your stories remain secret.

Before that day comes, let’s write our stories!
They’ll never do anyone any good if they go to the grave with us.



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