What are your favorite stories? Maybe there some stories about your parents or grandparents you like to retell with your family. Maybe there are stories about your adventures in high school or college that you like to share when you get together with old friends. Is it a favorite book or song that you liked as a child and now share with your family? We all have favorite stories and traditions that we like to share with others, in fact, it is in our nature to do this, based on how things have been done for centuries. Whether it is through oral tradition, books, movies, or soap operas, we like to listen to and share good stories.
When I was a young child, I remember lying in bed as my dad told stories to my brother and I in effort to help us fall asleep. Several times, we would ask him to retell the one about the alligator, or when the car broke down, etc. They were probably just ramblings to my dad, but as kids, we remembered some of the smallest details that we would say. I have helped 5 year olds work on memory verses and am often surprised at how quickly some can get these down. Maybe we should not be so amazed at how a child’s ears, eyes, and mind are like sponges in what they remember, as they can often recall these with vivid details that we cannot. Both things we would and would not like them to remember.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart. Proverbs 3:1
I also remember my mom reading bible stories to us out of a book with vivid illustrations on each page. Maybe more than the stories, to this day, I recall even more the pictures that went with them. Some of us, like me, tend to be more visual learners, while others tend to recall more from hearing. This may be more reinforced in watching others act things out in front of us or on the television, where both forms of communication are reinforced. Is it any wonder how easy it is for us to become glued to a TV for hours at a time? Let us be mindful of what we allow ourselves to take in to our bodies.
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Matthew 13:10-11
So, what stories most resonate and are motivating to you? Something you can identify with in the characters or something in the sci-fi realm that is more fantastical in challenging your imagination? When we read the pages of scripture, we can explore a variety of these things as well. Whether it is through a personality that we identify with in various ways, or how we come to know the hear t of God through what Jesus said and did, or in things that seem impossible to have happened, but did to carry out God’s plan. Whether it is though Creation, or crossing the Red Sea, hearing a donkey talk, water turning into wine, or any number of other miracles, we can be amazed at how God can work in these things, or how he can know us so intimately and heal our hearts. When we experience the miraculous in ways not mentioned in the Word, he is creating new stories in our lives that we can share as well.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
Maybe there are biographies or stories of the faithful that you have heard and been inspired by over the years. Again, maybe there are stories that happened in your life that strengthened your faith, and opened your eyes to what is possible with God. What is your response to these things? Will you share them with others who will listen? Will you write them down and share them with your family? I don’t want the lessons I have learned and the insights God has revealed to me to be wasted by just sitting in my heart and mind. I am compelled to share them with anyone who will listen, and even some who won’t. How about you? Who needs to hear what you have to say?
Living our God’s new story,