I think that the idea of “Story” has a lot to do with the conversation and the discovery of identity. We all have this inner desire for our own story, for our lives to be unrepeatable and thrilling. We want to live a life that could be written about, one with adventure and risk and meaning.
These desires are innate. We are designed to want this; it’s the way God made us. It’s because we are part of the greatest story of all time. We all play a part in the redemptive narrative of the world. Story is weaved into our souls; we were cast in His story before we inhabited bodies, and we are living it out day by day.
That is why we get bored. It is why we search for purpose. It is why we have longings so deep they sometimes hurt. Everything about us is made to have story. We were never created to live lives of monotony, just wandering aimlessly from simple day to simple day.
My newest read is Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. It is a book about celebration, and it’s beautiful. This quote is what directed my mind toward this concept of story:
Every life tells a story, through words and actions and choices, through our homes and our children, through our clothes and dishes and perfume. We each play a character in a grand drama, and every stage direction matters. We tell our stories, and we let God’s story be told through our stories. We tell God’s story as we live and discover our own. (Cold Tangerines, 137)
I’ve found in myself an incredibly deep desire for a life that matters. A life full of purpose and laughter and depth. I want a life characterized by thriving, not by simply making it through from birth to death. I struggle in the seeming monotony of graduate school to not start a countdown till my real life starts. I have to remind myself that life has already started. In fact it started a while ago, and if I don’t engage it is going to be gone before I know it.
I’m thankful that I know where this desire comes from. I was created to be a part of the most beautiful and rich story there is. My soul knows there is more to this life than simple happiness and shallow wants. There is a life abundant, a fullness, that deep down in our innermost beings we recognize and crave beyond anything else.
Dissatisfaction with life may mean that we aren’t engaging in the story in the way we should. Or maybe we are just in one of those chapters that builds up to something really thrilling. Those are important parts of stories. All I know is that our understanding of life and purpose changes when we start viewing it all through the lens of story. The significance of our life will be determined by the story we let God tell through us. Often we try to write the story ourselves, trying to get a sneak peek into what comes in the following chapters. We have to trust the Divine Storyteller to do His thing. He will never disappoint. He will write the story of your life and it will be a story worth telling. Trust Him, and you will live a life of unrepeatable, magical, suspenseful story.