I am often guilty of asking people to give me a short summary of what they have been learning. I get a range of answers, sometimes just blank looks, but if you are doing some journaling, hopefully you are getting a clearer picture of who you are and how all that fits together. My job is just as simple, all I have to do is three things:
- Listen to stories
- Tell stories and
- Help make connections between our stories and God’s story!
OK, it is not quite that simple, there are always a range of levels to our stories, and whether we are listening to them or telling them it is often difficult to make the right connections – even when it seems obvious! WHY? To reveal our real story is to be vulnerable and maybe admit that we still have things to learn or we need to do something with what we have just learnt. I would prefer to stay in denial! But growth and healing will only result when I honestly confront the choices I have made that have brought me to where I am, and look at the possibility that although I cannot change the past I can change the future.
The story is told of the young child who was new to Sunday school. He loved it! His father asked what the story was about. He related how the Israelis were in a tight spot with Pharaoh and his army chasing them. They were unable to go any further because the Red Sea blocked their way. So Moses called in the Air Force to bomb the Egyptians and then the Israeli Army built a pontoon bridge for the people to cross over. Poor Dad was shocked, “Is that the way they told the story?” “Well, not exactly”, the boy admitted, “but if I told it the way they told it, you would never believe it!”
How are you telling your story? Are you trying to make it more believable by adjusting the facts? Or are you going to be honest with yourself and address the real issues. Do you believe that God still works miracles? If you need some help to tell your story, my job is to listen, keep you honest and hopefully make some meaningful linkages.
Chaplain Ian S Whitley