Nothing Like a Good Story
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
[ see ratings/comments ]
Stories inspire, amaze, and terrify us. They entertain, amuse, and grieve us. We use them to illustrate a point, like telling about George Washington and the cherry tree to emphasize the nobility of telling the truth. Few things engage us like a good story.
If we take time to connect with the emotions stories evoke from us, we can gain some insight about ourselves. When I first heard the cherry tree story, I wanted to be upright like George Washington. There is honor in telling the truth.
Robert Coles' book The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination is an excellent resource for explaining and examining the power of stories. Paying attention to our own story can help us to see the patterns and connections and themes of our life's journey. Embrace the narrative. Embrace your story.
In Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation, Frederick Buechner writes: "Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and the pain of it no less than the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, 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."
On the path to spiritual renewal, we use story to help us put our faith lives into a framework we can understand. That's why we begin with a story, something meaningful to you. There are all kinds of ways to tell the story, but you do need to tell it. You can use a journal, a blog, or a video. You can try some other kind of artistic expression. But most importantly, just tell your story.
Choose a story with deep meaning. Often, this means the story will have some powerful emotions attached to it—like joy, sorrow, guilt, or pride. It may be a story or experience that is fresh in your mind. Maybe it's as simple as saying, "I like that story." Or "I can't stop thinking about it." Whatever the reason, listen to your story and ask, "Why is it important?"
Adapted with permission from the original article "Story" at TheHighCalling.org. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Use your Men of Integrity login to easily comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe, or on public pages, register for a free account.