Everyone loves a good story.
Great stories have a way of drawing us in. They allow us to forget our own story for a moment by letting us dream of what life could be. They force us to think about our own story as we see ourselves in the characters. Great stories allow us to laugh at life’s problems after a hard day, but also to feel the pain of others as we see the world through their eyes. Great stories acknowledge that life isn’t always as it should be, but they also help us to feel that life is moving somewhere when things come together at the end.
What’s your favorite story?
Do you love the Disney stories of young people trying to find who they really are as they follow their heart? Are you drawn to the chance to get into the mind of the war tactician or the football coach? Maybe you enjoy fantasy tales of good and evil, magic and werewolves? Do you prefer the celebrity gossip at TMZ or the human interest pieces at salon.com? According to the box office, a whole lot of people get excited about super hero tales like Batman and Iron Man.
If you think about it, every great story follows a pretty similar formula. The intro sets the scene. Conflict and suffering enter stage left. The characters chase after some resolution with bumps along the way until things reach a climax. Then, for better or worse, things resolve and the characters accept their fate.
Storytelling is important because it’s the way we as humans express how we feel about life. I’m convinced that we love a good story of victory and conquest because, deep down, we all crave victory over the obstacles in our lives. We love stories of love and romance because, deep down, we all crave love and acceptance. We love a good comedy because we each can’t wait for our happy ending.
And not only that, but I believe that the reason we love writing, telling, reading, and watching stories is ultimately because we were made by a story-teller. God himself loves a good story. God himself wrote a good story and decided to tell that story.
The Bible presents itself as a story. The Bible claims to be the real story above and behind all stories. The Bible claims to be the true story of human history. It’s the true tale of a King and the people he wants to provide with peace and justice. It’s the true love story about a man and his wayward bride filled with regret.
The story is fairly straight forward, yet incredibly deep.
Act 1: Creation – The origin and design of the world and the purpose of mankind is revealed.
Act 2: The Fall – After mankind’s cosmic treason, sin, suffering, and shame corrupt all creation.
Act 3: Rescue – A plan to restore God’s design is set in motion and the people wait for the promised hero that will set everything right.
Act 4: Restoration – The enemy falls, the hero wins, and the people live happily ever after.
Believe it or not, in the big grand story of the Bible we find meaning to our own personal stories. We find meaning because we are truly living at the beginning of Act 4, hoping and praying for happily ever after. The answers to all of life’s big questions (Who am I? Why do bad things happen? Does my life have meaning? What happens when I die? Will I find true love? Etc.) find their answers in God’s story.
I’d like to invite you to join the story. Read along as we explore the story above and behind all our stories by subscribing in the side bar or by bookmarking the page. You just might find your own personal story changed forever.
Thanks to Alex Munney for his work on the cover art. Check out his Instagram @AlexMunney or his website.