I never imagined my life as having a plot. Life was one event after the next.
This was never more felt than when sharing about my life. I could tell you the facts: travel dates, current job, present commitments. Asking questions or topical discussions was safe ground too. But I lacked the confidence to talk about myself with purpose. Unsurprisingly, feeling known and connecting with others was a struggle — except with those who, with a curious mind and loving heart, went out their way to understand me. (Never let these people go!)
I was lost in a fog of ambiguity. Life was complicated. It’s no wonder — without knowing what I wanted or where I was going — I felt out of my depth when it came to opening up.
But something shifted as I reflected upon the stories in the Bible. God was telling a story with Joseph’s life. He was telling a story with Daniel’s life. Their experiences weren’t just a random series of events, but markers on a map. They were key points on a journey and God was the storyteller and guide as they followed him. And it dawned on me, he was telling a story through my life too.
The human heart craves meaning. Story gives it that. It gives purpose to pain. It neurologically transfixes the brain’s attention like nothing else. A compelling story is impossible to ignore. It’s the life and soul of human connection. Our stories matter.
Donald Miller, a writer on story, shares what he learnt from Robert McKee, an eminent professor on screenwriting. He said, “[McKee] believes story calibrates a moral compass in our brains … We learn what to value in life, what’s beautiful and what’s banal, what to live for and what to die for.”
The more I’ve processed my journey through the lens of story, the more I’ve found clarity, vision and purpose. I may not always get it right. It might not always make sense. Yeah, the future is still scary. But I’ve become empowered to open up my journey with others. When you can tell your story, people come on that journey and you no longer walk alone.
God is telling a story with my life. He’s telling a story with yours. He’s always inviting us to walk somewhere with him.
If you don’t feel like you…
- have clarity on what you’re doing
- don’t feel like you know where you’re going
- don’t know what you want
…why not ask the great guide? Why not ask the grand storyteller?
Ask him, “what’s the story you’re telling with my life right now?”