Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Living Into God's Story - Part 4

***Please know that I am not claiming any of this as an original idea of mine. Like I said previously, our pastors spent weeks fleshing out the concept of Living into God’s Story and if this idea intrigues you, I would encourage you to listen to the sermons. My blog posts are simply my way of sharing what God branded into my spirit as our pastors opened the Word. ***

image courtesy of

So, to recap . . .

Previously, on Out of the Boat (this line is best if you use Mark Harmon's NCIS voice) :-).

My knowledge of storytelling has given me a new appreciation for God's story. And for my part in it.

One rule of writing is to have only as many characters as you need. If your protagonist has five best friends, they probably need to be combined into one or two. If your evil empire is enormous, you only need to flesh out the character of a few key individuals and allow the others to remain part of the anonymous crowd.
So, if God is the Ultimate Storyteller and we are the characters in His story, then . . .

We must have a purpose.

And, here it comes . . . wait for it . . .

That purpose is not all about me (or you – sorry to burst your bubble).

God always has more than you or me in mind.

He loves us, but He is always working in our lives in order to preserve many lives. The lives of our family members, our community, and maybe people we will never meet.

Joseph is a perfect example of this. When Joseph was in the pit, God knew what was coming. God knew that Joseph's suffering, while it would bring about a great deal of personal growth, was ultimately about saving the entire family. The very family through which Christ would come, which would ultimately save the world.

The World.

Now admittedly, Joseph was a Major character and there can only be so many Major characters. So far, the books I've written (OK — the one I've written and the one I'm working on) have two major characters. Everyone else is a minor character. Note that I said minor, not unnecessary. There’s a BIG difference.

There's only one Billy Graham. Only one Beth Moore. Only one Me. Only one You.

My role in God’s story probably won't be to reach the world. It may be to reach my neighbor. Or my child. Or my friend.

But my role is important (and so is yours).

In my current plotline, I'm a 36-year old wife and mother of two. I have everything I need and most of what I want. But there's been an unexpected development. As I write these words, I have no idea where He's going with this, because like all good storytellers, He only gives me enough information for me to know what's happening now, with maybe a few hints as to what's coming. But He doesn't give away the whole story. What would be the fun in that?

He's laid it on my heart to write. At first it was fiction. It still is, but the storyline has developed and now I have this blog and some devotions.

But what's the point?

Sometimes I start to wonder why me? Why now? Or, I wonder if I've lost my mind.

And here’s where the idea of Living into God’s Story has completely changed the way I think about this topic.

A year ago, if you’d said, “Lynn, what do you think God is up to with this whole writing thing?” my response would probably have included the following:

  • God is teaching me about following Him when it doesn’t make sense.
  • God is teaching me to trust Him and His timing.
  • God is showing me new dimensions of Himself and I am growing to love and appreciate Him more each day.

Now, you may be wondering what’s wrong with those statements.

Especially since they are all true.

But they totally miss the point!

Sure, God is teaching me. All the time. And I’m sure my personal sanctification is a part of the plan. But if I start thinking that it’s all about me, what I will learn, how I will grow, I will miss something huge.

Because God is too good a storyteller to weave a plotline that only impacts one minor character. Oh no. Nuh-uh. Not going to happen.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve gotten the erroneous idea that everything that happens to me is about me. When in reality, everything that happens to me is about others. God has a plan to use me to reach others.

This, I must say, is a humbling and exciting idea.

I still don’t know why I’m writing this blog or editing a novel.

But maybe He’s called me to write because in His story, I have a story to tell and no one else can tell it quite the way I will and somewhere, someone needs to hear it.

And that’s a story that will keep me turning the pages, just to see what happens next.


Charity Tinnin said...

Wow. What a humbling post. It is good for me to remember that my role is important in His story-I have a purpose. And while I know in my head that it's not all about me, your statement, which I paraphrase: "everything that happens to me is not about me but others" stopped me in my tracks. This is a truth to be embedded in my soul. Thanks friend.