Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
"Stories tend to get out of hand, and this one has taken an unexpected turn." J.R.R. Tolkien
This is one of my favorite quotes about stories. As someone who tries to write stories, I can personally attest that often you think you know how the plot is going to go, how the characters are going to react. And then, right in the middle of everything, you notice that things aren't going as you thought they would.
You have two choices. You can become frustrated, and try to make the story go back to the way you thought it was going. Sometimes you might succeed. Sometimes it might even be the right thing to do. The other choice is to go down the unexpected road to see where it might lead you. If you don't like the ending, you can always go back and start over.
Now, in life the going back and starting over bit is a tad more difficult. Nonetheless, I would like to challenge us all to try choosing the second path. Try being open to the twists and turns we didn't forsee and didn't plan.
Who knows? They might just change our lives.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I believe in the sun
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
[Note: My apologies for the lack of posting the last two weeks. I was insanely busy and then out of town. Here is part two, and part three will be up on time next week.]
"Story is seldom true if we try to control it, manipulate it, make it go where we want to go, rather than where the story itself wants to go." Madeleine L'Engle
If we take our stories seriously, we must also take them humbly. What do I mean by that? Very simply, I mean losing a sense of undue proprietariness. Many writers talk about the stories they write as choosing them, rather than the reverse. Obviously for a writer there is a sense of pride in a well-told story, a job done properly. But if we remember that in some way the story exists outside of us, that we do not own it, we can be humble. Rather than stamping our feet and shouting "Mine! Mine!", we have a sense of wonder and joy at this thing which has graced us.
How does all of this relate to real life? In the same way, if we remember that the story of our lives here are parts of something bigger, something which we do not own or control, our tendency to kick and scream is reduced. Rather than flouncing and saying "It's my life!", we can live it, shaping it as best we can. At the same time we can feel that sense of joy and wonder which comes from being trusted with something we do not own.
It is only when we stop trying to control our stories and start trying to listen that we can really begin to tell them as they ought to be.
Part 1 here.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Sorry I've been quiet the last two weeks. Our church does organizes and puts on a Bible summer camp every year. We are leaving Sunday and it's major crunch time. I can't tell you what it's about because we keep as much a secret as we can :) What I can give you is a bit from the presentation the choir will be doing this year. (I'm the choir director)
Friday, July 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs
The idea of Story is intensely powerful, even today. Though many have turned away from the story of the universe as the story of God's creation, we can still feel its power, however diluted. For Christians especially, Story is an amazing thing--that is, a thing which amazes us. The Bible itself is a story, just as it is also the truth. Think of all the emotional dramas, all the epic tales contained in just the Old Testament. Moses, David, Gideon, for example. And the Story itself continues beyound the Bible. All of us are part of it and our small stories help to make up the wonderful pattern which is the Story.
For the next few weeks, I would like to talk about stories and about Story, and about the ways in which the smaller stories interact with the larger. Feel free to respond, to agree or disagree, as we go along.