Sunday, June 9

Life is a Story

When I'm not sure if I like the way a book's going, sometimes I skip to the end to see if it's worth my time to read the rest.  If I like the end, I keep going.  Ben shuddered at this habit of mine because he thought that it was disrespectful to the author.  Maybe "disrespectful" is a little strong, but I do agree that it shows a lack of trust.

A few months ago, I was bemoaning the fact that life decisions can be so difficult due to the fact that there's no way to tell how life will turn out. I told God that I might take more risks and persist in challenging ways if I could tell that they would pay off.
I told God that I wanted life to be more like a story, where I could get clues by peaking ahead.  That way I could be prepared to spend time and money on the people, activities and ideas that will be significant in my story.  I could really dig in.

Life isn't even like one of those books where even if you don't read ahead, you know how it will turn out.  Chick lit?  Yep, those two people bickering will end up being a couple.  Adventure story?  The hero will survive against incredible odds.  Opera's club or Game of Thrones?  Someone will probably die.  These kinds of indicative styles are all born of hindsight and/or an omniscient storyteller.  Okay, maybe intuition can function somewhat like this too, but I have terrible intuition.  Understanding of my life's patterns and themes always seem to come to me much after the events.

Now every so often, God speaks to me when I pray.  It's not audible, but comes as a sudden thought through the Holy Spirit and is at once an epiphany and something I already know.  I'm aware it's God speaking when the Thought agrees with the Bible and also has certain tone.  God tends to be breathtakingly tender but also slightly sarcastic with me in a way that usually makes me laugh (out loud, yes).

On this day, God said, "Lisa, but you do know the End."  Ha!... oh Yeah! Just a basic sketch sure, but the vitals are clear in Revelations.  Enough to tell me what is ultimately true and important in this life.  I can't peak at any of my details, but I know the ending of my story here - which is the beginning of another! I went from feeling indignant and lost to assured.

Then God said, "What's more, you know the omniscient Author.  You can ask this Author for directions and choose to trust Him."  That's right, Psalm 139:16b "All the days before me were written in Your book before one of them came to be."  How cool is that!  Of course, this Author tends to be a little cagey with the information that he gives out - only enough.  But just knowing that Someone knows what the heck is going on is wonderful.

Right now, there's an amazing team of editors working on Ben's book.  More information on that to come, but for now I just want to say that it was interesting to hear about the process of choosing which Blog entries to use.  We wanted to tell a story, and to do that the Blog entries had to form a narrative whole.  The narrative we chose (in a conversation with Ben) was one of spiritual growth, and so the entries chosen will focus on that.

Even without a book, what I communicate forms a narrative whole to the people around me.  This awareness has been with my strongly of late, and I wanted to share these thoughts because this is truth for everyone.  Your story is both what God has prepared for you, and how you tell other people about your life.  As you can see from Ben's impact, your story can have so much power!


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