"For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline."
~ 2 Timothy 1:7
You have a story to tell.
One of the things I have loved about being a pastor is sitting and listening to the life narratives of the people I meet. The story of their lives!
We all have a story to tell. I often am told stories about how couples meet each other. One of my favorite questions to ask is "So who chased who?"
It doesn't matter how old or how young the couple, there is usually some kind of joy associated and a story to tell.
While not all life stories are happy. The divorce of parents, or death of a sibling, the loss of a job, or never being able to move beyond a life event, can sometimes be sad, if not painful to hear. On the other hand, some of those stories are filled with great courage, hope, and success when the person shares of what they learned from the situation, and how the person moved forward.
It's how we interpret these stories that will be the legacy we leave behind.
For me, I'm a collector of stories and I love trying to live each day through eyes that I hope, help me to see all of the things that I God desires for me.
When we take the time to listen to the life narratives of others, there is a tremendous amount of insight that we are offered about others, while creating opportunities to grow in our relationships, but also, we learn more about the God who created each of us.
So often I think that the Bible serves as a life narrative for all of creation, with God being the master Creator. In the early years of scripture, God is the great designer, and pronounces all things as "good." Followed by some pretty hard realities. Choice is going to be something that God will have to acknowledge, and that for the created, each day choice is going to serve as the starting point.
Over the years God's life narrative becomes ours.
It's amazing how many times when I ask someone about their life, it includes a time when the person realized God's presence, and what that presence meant. Even when someone expresses the lack of belief, the person can often explain why, or what the circumstances were that caused the person to doubt, or to no longer believe. It still is an experience with God that the person is referring.
For those who are hesitant about sharing some things, it can cause anxiety, and often create a self-conscious situation. But when we have the courage to share our lives with others, we soon discover that our lives can bring a richness to each day. It is only by giving generously from the well of ourselves that we discover how deep that well is.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, may each of of my life include a story about You, and how I lived today knowing that You were with me with each step. Amen.
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.