Musician and writer Linford Detweiler once said, "We’re all writing the stories of our lives." All the actions that I commit, all the thoughts that I have, all the things I say or leave unsaid, they are all sentences in the story of my life. Perhaps some will only remain as single sentences to appear in only one of the many chapters of my life. Some though, both the blessed and accursed, will become themes that unfold and sweep throughout the entire tale. I gather the impression God loves stories. We see them throughout Scripture, told by the prophets and the men of old. We see them hush crowds of thousands when told by God himself on a lakeshore. We see the almighty I AM repeatedly recounting his great victory for the Israelites over Egypt. We see stories every day in our present life. We see them written in the eyes of passerbys and in the wrinkles of elderly hands. They are told to us through our televisions and our radios. Even some fictitious ones make their way into our minds—tales stemming from games of "I wonder …" and "What if …?" We unite ourselves to the characters in our books and shed tears for both joyous sonnets and sickening tragedies. We are a people of stories.
[THE STORY OF LIFE]
What type of story do we want to write? So often, we desire to have lives that are comfortable and predictable. We desire security and provision (and at least a little more than just provision). I get the feeling though this is not what God wants for us. In fact, I do not think He’s willing to give it to us. Those of us who seek after security and the predictable life usually find ourselves disappointed in the end. We find it is an illusion, elusive and always possessed by another. For the Christian however, a particularly unique factor enters into the equation. To write God in as a main character is to live in expectation of plot twists. Sure, all life is full of plot twists. The presence of the unpredictable cannot be attributed to faith or lack thereof. But in the story of the Christian, we suddenly find we are not the main character in the story. We are no longer the most important. We have become supporting actors, flowing and bending to the evolving plot surrounding our Lead. So often, life becomes an issue of survival, or, at best, maintenance.
Life scares us. Unlike a movie or a novel, we are not sure that everything will have a happy ending. We carry with us the wounds of our past, the fears of the unknown, the weight of uncertainty. It works effectively to keep us stagnant, gripping tightly to anything that seems like it will keep us afloat or might have some hint of longevity. God stands at odds with our instincts. He constantly seems to call to us from the dark—just beyond the reach of the visible ground of the lamppost. Instantly, we feel something in our mind and heart. We are tempted to play it safe. We are tempted to keep two feet planted on the ground and we have a list a mile long of why we shouldn’t respond to the call into the unseen world. The excuses are usually rather common. They almost always tie into family, money, business, love and how "unpractical" the call is. These excuses usually provide a good argument with enough substance to sway our minds and decisions. We "come to our senses" and keep chugging along on our track through life.
[LIFE AS AN ADVENTURE]
"Life is not a problem to be solved; it is an adventure to be lived," responds author John Eldredge. The weight of life tempts us to define it as a problem. But Eldredge rightly and quickly rebuts attempts to define life purely as a problem. Life is greater than that. "Life is an adventure to be lived." Our stories are to be stories of adventure. Passion, drama, and purpose all weave themselves into the lives of adventurers. God himself is an adventurer. He constantly takes risks, banking on the underdog of humanity. Time and again in my own life, He chooses to hope I will deliver his message, a less sure way of delivery in contrast to the harkening of angels. He even walked among us knowing well that we would slay Him. He created a world of wild animals and vast lands. He even created time—linear and a mystery to all trapped within its grasp. He is a God of stories. And we are His created people of stories.
We love the risk takers, the adventurers, the ones who follow the heart, the ones who put up a fight despite their fears. We love the ones who accept being uncomfortable as a sure sign they’re on the right track. God loves it when the odds are against His people and He can come through and save the day. He finds great joy when we seek for Him to move so uniquely that, as King Hezekiah cried out to God against his enemy in 2 Kings 19:19, we too can proclaim, "Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God." Our God is an adventurer. We are all writing our stories, whether we wish to stroke the pen against the page or not. Would we rather write stories that are predictable, comfortable and safe, or would we rather they be epic tales of passion, adventure, suspense and powerful faith?
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