Sunday, August 12, 2012

Writing the Story of Your Life

One day there will be a Once upon a time line depicting the story of our lives.
Once the story has been written it cannot, therefore, be changed. It will be history. It will be the truth. It will be, of a sense, non-fiction.
But before the story finishes, in this meantime period, the story is being built in more of the sense of a fictional novel—as we apply our imaginations significantly to build the story.
Of course, there are the situational determinants that fashion the boundaries of our story: how our families are comprised; the make-up of our living environment; what we do for a living; the times we live in, etc. This is the context that God has given us, thus far, to work within.
But God gives us a significant say over the rest.
We are writing, day by day, decision by decision, the story of our lives. We decide. And we have more power than we often think. God has put the pen in our hand. The paintbrush for the illustrations is poised with wet paint upon its bristles.
Our minds and our hearts are involved. The environments with which we live and the way we think are helping to build the story. And like all stories, with their shattering lows, we can begin to lament being involved. But the best stories, and ours is one of these—a story to be sure that is anointed by God—always have a climax; and a good ending.
Against all odds, and all divisive themes, our lives can be written in such a way as to inspire those coming after us; even those already on the journey.
Learning To Become a Great Storyteller
Sometimes we see ourselves more in the vogue of the non-fiction writer—our lives are like encyclopaedias. Life like this can appear drab; full of fact, with little meaning.
Our challenge, if we believe in such challenges, is to weave in the imaginative ‘fictional’ writing style. This is to give shape and meaning to a dream; to a vision we have for our lives. This is us with pen and paintbrush in hand, ready to write and paint. This is us not accepting that every fact will be written for us.
When we become a great storyteller, and we all have the potential to become such a person, our lives take on a transcendent quality. We open each day full with possibility. And our potential becomes more visible to us. Suddenly, we feel God calling us to build-in certain components into our stories. And to this we feel empowered.
Wanting to Be in the Story
Many of us have this problem: we don’t want to be in the story of our lives.
For many reasons this is how life is. Perhaps we are fearful of life, having been hurt. Maybe we are disappointed with life; it hasn’t turned out as we expected. Sometimes we can feel confused and overwhelmed with life and we withdraw.
But now we sense an opportunity.
With our minds now sponsored by the flourishing passion within our hearts, we believe afresh. Our minds are being opened to a different possibility. We may wish to kindle the imagination; to stoke the furnace of creativity so as to turn a corner within our story. A vision is formed from a dream that inspires us. We wonder within the mystery of actualisation—how can we, or will we, bring this to pass?
All it takes is wanting to be in the story; to take our place in life.
***
The rest, as they say, is history. One day people may very well ask who we were; what we did; what we stood for; what we achieved; whose lives we impacted; what we did with our lives.
Isn’t it strange, that we, by the things we did with our lives, will somewhat be answering these people? Other people may filter or distort our stories, even exaggerate them, but the bare facts will remain. What do we want said about us?
***
All our lives are grand narratives. Not one is less significant than another. God decrees that all stories of life have equivalent prominence within the Kingdom of Heaven.
***
The stories of our lives, within certain boundaries, are written by us. God has given us a pen and a paintbrush, and each day is a page. What we write, and the style we write in, is up to us. How is the story turning out so far? More importantly, how will it end?
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Image Credit: Luxury Marionette.

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