(Thanks for the inspiration Jeremy)
Riding back from class last night we started telling stories. For me, many of the trappings in my life have a story attached to them. This includes my class ring (great story), my chain and bracelet set, my watch, my wedding ring (of course) and many other things. Each time I look at them, I am reminded of some important event in my life.
As our lives go on, day by day, we are writing the story of ourselves. We have to ask "what kind of story will it be?" As authors of our own story, we have the freedom to choose. This is the most important point of living. Give any two people a pen and paper and have them watch the same thing. You will get two different accounts of what happened. This is what makes history unreliable. It is also what makes history fascinating. Real history is the history of PEOPLE. The story is always told from the standpoint of the storyteller, and includes only the things that storyteller thought were meaningful.
For some people, the story of them is always heartbreaking and sad. When you talk to them, the only stories they can give you are stories of what went wrong; of what tragedies they faced; of the despair they felt; of the failures they experienced. While we can sympathize for awhile, at some point those stories don't do much for us. There is no lesson in them, and hearing the stories makes us feel bad.
For others in the same circumstances, the same events bring stories of hope. They bring stories of accomplishment; of joy; of overcoming adversity. These stories inspire us and give us courage to face our own challenges. Every good story has challenges. Our hero or heroine must face hardship, but ultimately their will and strength of character prevails. Along the way they do things that even they thought were impossible. There are failures and setbacks, of course, but each one leads to another insight and a new approach to progress. We cheer for our protagonist as they take each step. We learn from them and become more in touch with ourselves.
In the end, I wish everyone a life filled with rich stories, and the insight to make those stories the kind that are worth telling over and over again. I hope for a Book of Life filled with adventure, love, fellowship, community, success, satisfaction, family, laughter, redemption. I WANT A STORY WORTH READING.