We are all characters in a story. The question is, “In what story do you live?”
Maybe you’ve heard me ask this question before, but what does it mean?
It recently occurred to me that while I share much with you about my journey of trying to live in God’s story, if you have never read my book or heard me speak, you might not have a clear answer to this question: “What is God’s story and why place such an emphasis on intentionally living in it?”
Here’s the truth: in this world, there are two main narratives; one is true, but the other is a work of fiction. I refer to these two stories as God’s Story and the Story of the World.
The Story of the World, the fictional story, manifests itself in many different ways, some of them negative but others seemingly positive. In fact, more often than not, the fictional story seems harmless, good even. This is the trick with fiction; it isn’t real, but it seems like it could be.
For example, the Story of the World could include things like going to church, buying a house, getting married, donating to charities, having kids, getting a promotion, going to college, taking a vacation, inviting friends over for dinner, and saving for retirement.
Now, you may be asking, “What’s wrong with these things? What’s wrong with getting married and buying a house? What is the problem with wanting to retire some day?” And my answer is, “Nothing.” There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things. These are major life events for a lot of people, many of which I can check off the list. The problem does not lie within these individual events but rather in the motivation behind the events.
The biggest problem with the story of the world is this: the story of the world centers around “Me.” The motivation behind my decisions is based on what benefits me. What do I want? What do I like? What will be best for me and my family? How can I get ahead? How can I feel good about myself? Will this job be a good move for me and my kids? Is this church a good fit for me? Will this house be a good investment for my future? The list goes on…
Here’s what we need to realize: we are not the main characters of our story or any story. God is. Our lives are merely sentences, lines of a paragraph lost among the pages of a much grander story. We were made to play a part in a story that is so far beyond our own.
The problem is, the story of the world is what we experience on a daily basis. It permeates our lives. Most of us don’t even recognize it. The story of the world is the air we breathe and the water in which we swim. It is the life we experience. It seems normal. It seems right. But so do dreams when we are asleep.
As Leonardo di Caprio’s character in the movie Inception so eloquently said, “Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”
It’s time for us to wake up and realize that we are lost in the wrong story. Though we are not the main character, our lives do have a purpose. There is a reason for our existence as human beings. We have an incredibly important role to play in the real story. And let me just say, it is the best story, the greatest story, in fact, the greatest story ever told.
This summer, I’m going to walk us through this story and share with you how it shapes the world in which we live, how this worldview has impacted my life, and how it can change yours. If you’d like to join me, click here!
I’m looking forward to spending the summer with you and discovering the radical story our lives were made to tell!
I, personally, am working through a Bible reading plan this summer that focuses on the Bible as a story. I will be sharing the weekly reading plan in case you are interested in seeing how the entire story connects through scripture. It will be a supplement to what I share and not necessary for following along. It’s a little meaty, but if you are interested in reading the Bible as one, complete story, this will be a great reading plan for you!
The reading plan starts next Monday. Here is the link if you’d like to read along!