The older I get, the more I gravitate to those wiser and older than me to learn their stories, and also to those younger so I stay fresh and learn new things and ideas.
Reveling in the power of our stories is such an important part of the journey. Our stories are our most valuable possession.
I find that I lead teams more effectively when I’m in touch with my own story – where I have come from and what is going on in my life right now. Likewise, as worshippers, we lead better when we find our story in the songs we sing and play (try it – there’s a line in one of the songs in your set this weekend that is part of your story!)
Do you have a grasp on your own story? For instance, what’s the first line of your story?
Sometimes the most important part of a great story is the first line:
- “It was the best of times it was the worst of times…” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
- S. Lewis began The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
- Somerset Maugham’s first line in The Razor’s Edge was: “I have never begun a novel with more misgiving.”
- Louise Erdrich’s story, Tracks, began poetically: “We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.”
Here’s a good one:
If you’re anything like me, and I know I am…
Three guys walked into a bar…
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
These are defining — they speak something of what is yet to come. If you had to write an opening line of your life what would it be?
Recently one of my mentors, Slingshot founder Stan Endicott, encouraged me to find my headline. What’s your headline right now? So often we live the wrong headline or live in the wrong story walking the wrong path, rather than the one God is calling us to.
One of the things I love most about our work with the Slingshot Group is helping people to first realize God’s story in their lives, and then not just live it, but LOVE it.
On my 20 year anniversary in ministry in 2013, I wanted to celebrate my story with two people who have always stood on the sidelines and cheered me on: my parents (and while I realize this isn’t the case for everyone, it’s been a gift to me). This is how the email exchange between us went:
20 years ago today I began an adventure by moving to Sydney and giving ministry and music a try! Remember? Thanks for your belief in me, and your support of me that made me think that anything was possible! Love you both even though I probably won’t be moving back…. 🙂
My Dad replied:
I knew it was around this time but wasn’t sure of the exact date. All I’d say is that God’s hand has obviously been upon you as you picked up the ball that was lying in front of you and ran with it.
I guess there’s heaps of things you could have done with your life, but I can’t think of any that’s better than what you’re doing right now and have done over the past 20 years.
I wonder what the next 20 years will bring as you continue running towards the end zone! Hopefully we’ll both still be here to love and support you as we’ve always done.
At Slingshot Group, we want to help you pick up the ball and run with it! To grow more fully into the skin of your story and calling!
Know your story. It’s never too late to LOVE it!