It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. -Sam Gamgee
Stories are everywhere.
One would be hard pressed to find an element of life that doesn't incorporate them.
Each movie, song, or book has one...
The entire blogosphere, Facebook, the news, Google reader...each of these have a plethora of stories waiting to be read.
Each blogger has their own their own story to tell, and though the paradigms are different, they share their stories through their own blogger space. They share their story with the entire planet...
Story is much deeper than just simple communication though. It is more than a medium through which to articulate ideas. It is connected to humanity in a far bigger way...
We are story.
Living. Breathing. Story.
I wonder how often, if at all, we think of this...
Life is a narrative. As much as scientists would like to maintain that we are nothing more than cold, calculated existence, we are so much more. There is more to the human DNA.
We cannot exist without story.
Think about any sort of relational interaction that is made between friends or family...what is it made up of?
We share with others how our day went at work, the type of food we had at that party. We tell in vulgar detail about our reaction to that jerk who cut us off while driving...story after story after story. It is like we cannot help but to tell stories. They are natural to us...
The only way possible not to share stories would be not to speak at all... to refuse to interact brings about loneliness, isolation and, in essence, the death of the soul.
We were created to interact, which brings me to the conclusion that we were made for stories.
We didn't create story but, rather, story was made for us...
Have you ever thought about your life that way?
That on a daily basis you are, in fact, writing a story. The narrative of your life. Each day is a new page. Each day has its heroes, villains, complications, triumphs, sadness and joy.
Ultimately each individual life, when reflected upon after death has told a story. Some call it their legacy.
Which leads me to wonder what kind of a story I am sharing with this world...
Is it a story of love? Hate? Impatience? Apathy? Routine? Adventure?
What sort of pages am I writing on a daily basis?
More importantly, what are others going to read when they explore my life?
Personally I hope to surpass a mere legacy; it is my desire to have left an epic by the time I leave this life...
This idea of story is a foundational aspect of what the Judeo-Christian faith teaches, and that is that each human life is significant. The idea that not only is every single person who has ever walked this planet is not only uniquely and beautifully made, but also that the stories one writes are important. Your life does matter. It matters more than you could ever imagine!
In so many of the greatest stories, the heroes are shaped by those around them. They are shaped by those they encounter throughout the tale. It is safe to say that without those interweaving story lines, some of the great heroes of the stories wouldn't be who they became.
Your story matters.
I often wonder at how much I find myself wishing I was in some other story...
That I would have this element or that setting, this plot twist or that particular success. How much of life is spent wishing for something that isn't, while neglecting to write what is?
I always thought it'd be fun to be a rapper...or a professional skateboarder. Something exciting.
I wish I could draw as well as my little sister, teach like my dad, or heal people like my mom...
Alas, these are not my gifts. They aren't the tools that I've been given to tell my story with.
I am a writer...or, I aspire to be one at least.
It is with my blog, pen, and paper that I will write and share my story with anyone who may be interested. When I leave this place I hope that people can read my life.
That they can take a small piece of me with them and, more importantly, that it can present to those who are estranged because of religion, the God who has lost his voice in this culture.
To write a story of hope to those who have been beaten down and brutalized Christian establishment in America.
To let them know that there is a God who loves unconditionally.
That all the years of being told they 'don't meet the standard' or aren't acting piously enough are irrelevant.
I'm convinced that this is really what it's all about.
That the true purpose of story, which is wrought into the human DNA, is the means through which to glorify the creator of story.
The One who is the author of life.
The One who is writing the greater story, which we can now be a part of.
It's a beautiful thing really.
So, as I wind down I am faced yet again with the question; what sort of pages am I writing today?