Finding Your Place in a Bigger Story
People love story. We get to know characters, we become enticed by an exciting plotline, we even fall for the drama of conflict. We are drawn to story – in the lyrics we listen to, in the films we watch, in the books we read.
But too often, though, we forget that we are part of a story – we are characters dealing with conflict, setting out for new adventures, engaging in relationship with others. We fall into day-to-day life and forget that our story, too, has rising action, a hero’s journey, a character who wants something. We forget that we are part of the greatest story ever told.
During your week at camp, you may have developed some parts of your story. Maybe you were challenged to travel away from home or build relationships with strangers or called to serve and love because God first loved us. You shared holy moments. Maybe you questioned some things. You were asked to trust. You were called to be like Jesus. These are things that make a story great. Relationships. Challenges. Victories. God at work.
Character transformation is another part of every story. A character grows, develops, overcomes conflict, and perseveres through the course of their story. Loving, serving, guiding, being in relationship with others – it’s all part of a great, wild, wonderful story. Just because your week at camp is over doesn’t mean your story is. The part of your story lived out at camp has the potential to change your day-to-day life. If you stopped now, it would be like closing a book after the first chapter and saying, “That was a great book!” You only experience the beginning of something powerful, meaningful and transformational. You’ve got to keep reading to understand the bigger picture, the greater story.
As you reflect on your summer, when you were part of the greatest story ever told, consider these elements of your story and pray through them:
the funniest part of your story
the hardest part of your story
the easiest part of your story
the part of your story you are proudest of
the part of the story that changed you
the guides in your story who walked with you
the part of your story that inspires
the next chapter where your story will continue
Your story joins with thousands of others to create a beautiful rhythm of God moving in the world. Live into it fully. Cherish the holy moments in the midst of busyness. Be transformed. Share it with others.
by Sami Tierney
Stories Have power!
That’s why Jesus told stories about a runaway son, a lost sheep, a tiny mustard seed and a priceless pearl. Imagine the attention Jesus got when he started telling a story by saying, “So this sinner and this religious leader walk into the temple…” People probably thought Jesus was going to tell a joke, but he ended up teaching them a lesson about being broken and restored. (You can read it in Luke 18:9–14.)
Because stories have power, Jesus’ followers didn’t just write a list of the cool things Jesus said. Instead, they wrote down true stories of the incredible things Jesus did – like the time Jesus took on the job of a poor servant by washing his followers’ feet (John 13). Or the time Jesus went to a house to raise a girl from death and, on the way, a sick woman just touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed (Matthew 9:18–26).
It’s not surprising that four of Jesus’ followers wanted to write about what Jesus did. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each wrote their own collection of stories about Jesus, and we still read their stories today! And those stories have changes countless lives.
You have a powerful story!
Because Jesus is still doing incredible things! You might have seen Jesus at work around you during your week at camp. Or maybe you experienced Jesus working in or through you. Those stories should be shared!
Imagine what would have happened if Jesus’ followers had never written down their stories about Jesus. We would have never understood how Jesus came to live and die and conquer sin by rising from the dead! But God worked through Jesus’ followers to share the most important story ever told.
Just like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you have a story about how Jesus is at work. Let God work through your story and see just how powerful it really is.