Michael Gungor, a singer / songwriter in the band Gungor, says this:
More than skin, and bone, muscle and tendon – you are made of stories.
And I think that is true. We all have stories that make up who we are. We all have experiences, encounters, and narratives that not only shape who we are, but often define who we are. You are made of stories and so are those around you.
Some of us are made up of difficult stories, stories of pain, hurt, and abuse. Some of us are made up of stories of love, grace, and forgiveness. The point though isn’t to live a life, or a story, without pain or conflict. The point is to live a life that isn’t controlled by pain, fear, or conflict. To live a life, and share a story, that is about something bigger and better. To live a life that joins in the story that God is telling.
There is this really beautiful spiritual practice of reflection. In it you look back over your life, the stories and encounters you’ve had that really impacted you. You can plot them on a paper, as highs or lows, and reflect on the major turning point in your life.
And once you’ve done this you look over your story. The highs and lows,t he good times and difficult. The stories and encounters that build you – who you are. And you ask yourself two simple questions:
- Where was God moving in those times?
- And where is God leading today?
It’s amazing how as you reflect and look back you can see God moving in your life. And as you see where he did move, you can get a sense for where he might be moving you.
So my simple little challenge today is this.: that you are made of stories, and that you look back on the story of your life. And as you look, and remember, pay attention for God. Look and see how he was moving in this moment, and that moment. And look for where he might be moving.
Because Michale Gungor is right, and as you do this you ask a simple question: where has God been leading?
The question really is what stories: More than skin, and bone, muscle and tendon – you are made of stories. And the question is where is your story leading? Is it joining a bigger story – God’s story? We all have good and bad encounters but none of that needs to control our story or destiny. Because here is the beautiful thing: your story isn’t over yet. So live it well.