Your life. At any given time. Is a story. A direction.
She tells a good story.
I mean, the kind that rivets normally squiggly kids’ bottoms like cement to their seats. The kind that opens eyes all wonder-wide and silences every other voice in a room. The kind that will be remembered warmly on down through the telling generations.
Yeah, she tells stories about her experiences.
Like a time she visited Yellowstone and wished she could unsee what her eyes didn’t ask to see; a Hulking Bear mercilessly dragging off a helpless, Baby Elk. Feasting on the poor little thing right out there within shocking range of her binoculars.
Nope. They’re not epic stories, really.
Not hair-raising yarns of dangerously fantastical adventures only the audacious and dauntless kind of person ever earns the right to tell.
Just simple, home-spun stories of the every day kind of stuff of which life is generally made.
But it’s the WAY she tells them.
The passion she puts behind those telling words. The all out, no-holds-barred voice beneath them that fills up the emptiest corners of one’s imagination; that draws wild pictures against an everyday background of plain, old simple.
That’s the cement factor.
The wide-eyed wonderment.
The breath-forgot-to-breathe magic.
Because when Mom starts spinning a tale, you’re caught. And like an ascending whirlwind, you find yourself drawn up and in; spiraling, twirling, untethered to gravity and all of life outside of her exuberantly expressive voice.
Because even though the story may be a simple thing like Bear Dining on Baby Elk; (or a Man Who Washed Blackboards Every Friday Night); it’s her story.
And she owns it.
Yeah, she’s passionate about it.
And the telling of it is the life behind it.
In all its mundane glory.
...Cause at any given time, even the most mundane life is a story. A Pointing Direction.
“GENERATION AFTER GENERATION STANDS IN AWE OF YOUR WORK; EACH ONE TELLS STORIES OF YOUR MIGHTY ACTS.”
“YOUR MARVELOUS DOINGS ARE HEADLINE NEWS; I COULD WRITE A BOOK FULL OF DETAILS OF YOUR GREATNESS.”
Do you ever wonder why the average person so often feels like their lives are so ordinary?
There’s just nothing at all unamazing about being alive.
When every breathe our lungs breathe in is a miracle.
When every second our hearts beat brave is an astonishing act of life.
I mean, we – every Jack one of us, are a living, breathing miracle!
And the bold truth of the matter that we’re created in the very image of God Himself just blows the mind wide open.
And wherever He’s placed our breathing lungs and beating hearts is right where He has sovereignly destined our stories to be made – and to be told.
Cause He created each one of us for a time such as this… for such a place as the one you find yourself in right now.
Right. this. moment.
Soapy, dishwater hands? He has a plan to tell a story through them.
Calloused farmer’s feet? His design.
Busy city businessman? Banker? Baker? Homemaker? His purpose and intent are all over wherever you are.
And He’s writing and working through your singularly distinct story.
“The Kingdom of God is in your midst.”
In the midst of your wild, mundane, hair-raising, simple Life Story.
…Because every single ordinary person is an extraordinary story. Pointing.
“THEY TALK ABOUT THE GLORIES OF YOUR RULE. THEY EXCLAIM OVER YOUR SPLENDOR, LETTING THE WORLD KNOW OF YOUR POWER FOR GOOD,THE LAVISH SPLENDOR OF YOUR KINGDOM.”
I learned something recently that captivated me. I learned of Indian Trail Trees. Sometimes, called Marker Trees.
They’re trees found scattered throughout the forests, right here in America.
They figure Native Americans of old deliberately bent them in order for them to grow up deformed.
In order for them to point in a certain direction. A Telling Direction.
That was their purpose. To point. Towards a thing that should not be missed.
Like a path. Or stream. Or body of water. An unseen precipice. Or maybe a sacred place of prayer.
There are still many around our country left living, standing, pointing. Not yet fallen to modern progress or age or fire or wind.
And I saw this one day not long ago, on my way in to our Post Office in our small, backwater town of Roy.
And I had to stop and get out of my car and gaze up, full of whimsical wonder as to whether or not this beautifully deformed giant might very well be one of those fascinating Trail Trees of old.
If it was…to what had it been pointing?
To how many Native Americans did it offer guidance or some kind of warning?
Standing mute now beside a modern road of unseeing travelers, it remains a silent, haunting reminder that we are – all of us, Guide Posts of one kind or another.
Trail Markers for those who are coming up behind us; those who have yet to experience some of the things we have; find some of the treasures we’ve found; know of some of the quiet, soul-restful places we’ve known.
And if not for our pointing, may well miss out. May well stumble into danger. Or walk right on past that refreshing spring water just over the next rise…
…Yeah, our lives are meant by God to be guide posts. Often bent and broken, but always meant for purpose:
Right up until He writes the final word of our closing sentence of our Life Story Book…
So fellow Christ Follower, I pray you tell a good story.
I pray you own the story He’s writing your life out to be. I pray you point to Him with so much passion and fire that angels stand up and applaud. And human hearts become as captivated with Christ as your captivated heart is.
And I pray you will never give ear to the mutinous lie that life could ever be common, or insignificant – or is anything less than an extra-ordinary gift with a Divinely appointed purpose!
I pray you revel in every chapter of the story He’s written for just you. Even the hard ones, cause those are the ones that will be speaking loudest to the folks going through the same things.
And may you fiercely believe with relentless, bulldog faith He’s working right through the broken, messy, imperfect things to make you stronger, full of His character, and more beautifully like Him.
Yeah, I sure do pray you tell loud and clear the story of God at work in every part of your mundane,
well-worn life with a boldness and passion that makes others sit up and take notice of the One who holds you all together;
who pours out daily grace like hallowed rain…
…and mercy with every rising sun.
Yeah, I pray with all the strength He gives you that you point real bold to Him –
knowing the Kingdom of God is within you –
and waiting to be released through you into the lives of the characters He has sovereignly written into your own unique, powerful, compelling story.
You. Are. Story.
His telling story.
He’s the Author and He’ll be the Faithful Finisher.
And all we need do is trust Him with every single, stunning page He methodically and deliberately writes between the front and back covers of our Life Book.
And never stop believing our stories, through the work of the Holy Spirit, have the power to affect and influence someone else’s life in a dramatic, transformative way!
He has put us right smack where we are this blessed minute for a reason! And we can bet it’s a darn good one.
So lean into what He’s weaving together through all that you are; in every season; through every chapter.
No matter how mundane, hair-raising, common, extra-ordinary or just plain hard.
Because He only writes the most beautifully sacred stories ever.
Stories with purpose.
..Because every life is a story. A direction. Pointing.
So purpose to point.
“I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King!
and I’ll bless Your name into eternity.
I’ll bless You every day,
and keep it up from now to eternity.
God is magnificent; He can never be praised enough.
There are no boundaries to His greatness.
Generation after generation stands in awe of Your work;
each one tells stories of your mighty acts.
Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking;
I compose songs on Your wonders.
Your marvelous doings are headline news;
I could write a book full of the details of Your greatness.
The fame of Your goodness spreads across the country;
Your righteousness is on everyone’s lips.
God is all mercy and grace—
not quick to anger, is rich in love.
God is good to one and all;
everything He does is suffused with grace.
Creation and creatures applaud You, God;
Your holy people bless You.
They talk about the glories of Your rule,
they exclaim over Your splendor,
Letting the world know of Your power for good,
the lavish splendor of Your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
You never get voted out of office.
God always does what He says,
and is gracious in everything He does.
God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.
All eyes are on You, expectant;
You give them their meals on time.
Generous to a fault,
You lavish your favor on all creatures.
Everything God does is right—
the trademark on all His works is love.
God’s there, listening for all who pray,
for all who pray and mean it.
He does what’s best for those who fear Him—
hears them call out, and saves them.
God sticks by all who love Him,
but it’s all over for those who don’t.
My mouth is filled with God’s praise.
Let everything living bless Him,
bless His holy name from now to eternity!”
Psalm 145 The Message