Alright, I love movies. I am a huge fan of them. There really aren’t many things that I like more than movies. The concept of them is awesome. It is all based on an idea of a story that one person made up and developed in their head – and over time it gets developed to the point where a lot of different people gather around this once concept to make this story come to life to move people. I think if you asked directors the question about why they love making movies, most would say something along the lines that story moves people.
If they don’t they probably made Napoleon Dynamite or something.
I don’t know about you, but I love going to movies and getting swept into the story. Story moves people. Why is that? The drama. The emotion. The pain. The relationships. I can’t help it. I’m such a sucker for it that I will finish bad TV shows simply to finish the STORY. Right now I bet we can all think of that movie that did that for us the 1st time we saw it. You walked away thinking, “my life is different now that I’ve watched that.” Or maybe even, “Don’t turn on the lights because my face is swollen with tears.”
For me, it’s a no brainer: Les Miserables – cue agreeing nods of everyone reading.
Now, believe me when I say that I have been caught up in the story of many movies before…like I said, I’m a sucker. But never have I sat in a theater and literally felt the tension of this story and it moved me. Moved me so much that I have probably been its biggest advocate since opening night. Why that is, that’s a different blog post for a different day…my point though:
Story. It moves us. It’s what we long for. What do I mean by that?
Think about it, your whole life everything has evolved around story.
Let’s start with the past.
The assignments in school as a child. Before we went to bed, we needed the comfort of a story to comfort us to sleep. The games we played with our siblings making a fantasy that we are super heroes. The high school basketball game of the 4th quarter last second shot – what makes that enticing?
Think about the present. Why do we dwell in the past? Why does everyone always talk about, “what was”? The story of it made a memory! Why do I desire so much to be back in college? The memories of what we made. Story. What excites me most about thinking about my wife and what we have done so far in the past 20 months of marriage? The story it will tell.
And the future. Why do we create elaborate plans for anniversaries, and surprise parties, engagements etc? For the story they WILL tell. Why is it so much fun to dream? The unknown of the possible outcome of our story is enticing…
We long for story.
I don’t know about you guys, but I know that my story has brokenness in it. There are cracks for sure. In the past I see the blemishes of my spottiness. In the present I feel the overwhelming thoughts of ” If only I _____ “. In the future I worry about the holes that might be there if I don’t take care of XYZ. My story had, has and will be broken.
A while back I became gripped by another story. One that isn’t even about me. A story that has me moved to the point where I wasn’t just advocating to go see this story from a theater seat. But I was moved to the point where I knew THIS story was the only way out of the continual hole that my own story left me in. This story was one of victory, one of triumph, one of promised security, and one of hope. There is scandal, anguish, pain, and a rescue, and a kept promise. How appealing that is!
This story is not about me – but I was chosen to be casted for a role in it. My role isn’t big, but I’ll take it because I believe in it. It’s not possible to turn down a story this gripping! I could try and eloquently explain the story, but this will be better: watch
It sounds crazy, but I mean this when I say I care more about the Story of God than I do my own story. I can’t explain it. But it’s freeing really. Because I tried for years to put all the pieces together to make my story great. If I just did or didn’t do enough things my story would complete me. But I fell way short. Still do. But that’s why the Story of the Gospel filled that shortage. I have been trying to cash checks in my hearts bank for years with my own man made checks – always returned void. I pretended like they didn’t, but they did. Luckily, the truth of the Gospel and the freedom it brings was buried in my heart, and that check cleared.
Story. It grips us. It will make us toss and turn. It will keep us up at night. Wake us up early in morning. Drive us to do many things. There are a lot of stories out there. Which ones grip you? My hope is that this one does…my fear is that if you were honest it really doesn’t. I can promise one thing – I know only one story that ends with joy… so let this story be the one you follow:
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-11