Thursday, December 6, 2018

Story junk-mail

Dec 6th (513 words)
We are living in a society that has a glut of stories.  How does that phrase strike you – “A glut of stories”?  Do you think of a huge library – with story books and novels?  Do you think of a shelf of dvd’s?  Do you think of online movie carriers – Itunes, Netflix, Youtube?  Do you think of the Cinema?  We have all the above today.  Someone invented the phrase: videovore.  This is someone who devours stories without end.  There is also the expression: binge watch.  Junk mail crowds out our mailbox and it is hard to separate the garbage that wants to take your time and money from the important stuff.

Stories are powerful!  They shape our image of right and wrong, beautiful and ugly.  They present us with life-goals and dangers to avoid.  They trace out for us a picture of what if…
These orient us in our actions, what we think, what we feel in our heart.

Can a little story do all this?  Yes – and more!  Stories inspire the imagination – a key tool in orienting our life-metaphors.  Stories develop our root metaphors – the bottom line, inner core reality of our lives.  [A root metaphor is the most fundamental assumption you take for granted.]
                Some examples of root metaphors include: Love conquers all, Blood is thicker than water, all is one, this is all there is, God is good, Jesus loves me. 

This is why the stories of Jesus are so essential to my being.  He is the root metaphor of the whole Bible – all of history – I believe.  God’s word was made flesh and dwelt among us to bring us to him and him to us.  He is the true superhero! (John 1)  Imagine him coming against all the other super-villains – all he has to do is unmake them – or throw them in hell (did you see how I am trying to translate Jesus into the story-images of our culture?) .

So what?

Pay attention to the stories you put in.  Filter them, don’t just take them in.  Some stories you should just keep out of your mind because of how they distort the good and beautiful – making bad look good and good look bad… making ugly look beautiful and beautiful look ugly.  Other stories you can confront and attack – revealing the story for what it is.  Still other stories you can judge and critique taking pieces for yourself (I like this… but I don’t agree with that…).  Sometimes you come across a great story that can inspire your pursuit of truth and life abundance.

What are the great stories of humanity?

What are your great stories?

Where do you put the Bible? 
On a dusty shelf – next to the dictionary and encyclopedia – boring resource tools that you never use?
I would say that the Bible is the meta-story – the main story that all other good stories borrow from and are measured by.
It doesn’t need to be a boring book – it’s life-changing.  Invest your life in it – because it opens a more abundant relationship with God!

Happy reading!

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