I have a lot of stories. Some are better than others. Some are funny, like when I cut off my little sister's piggy tail (just one). Or when on vacation I was piloting a small fishing boat alone and rammed the boat dock by turning the engine throttle thewrong way (Yeah, the dozen people who came running to the dock to see the calamity were very comforting). Or when I dropped a tray of Pepsi’s on the way to my table at a banquet with a hundred people or more watching.
I have some sad stories too, like when my first dog was run over by a car. Or when my son was diagnosed with autism. Or when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
We all have stories like this, don't we?
Have you ever noticed how narrow our stories are? Usually our stories are about very short periods of time: minutes, hours, or days. They are tiny experiences in our tiny lives.
What's unfortunate is that so many of us only have our tiny stories and they don't fit into anything of greater significance. We are myopic.
Myopia is 1. the condition in which the visual images come to a focus in front of the retina of the eye resulting especially in defective vision of distant objects (or) 2. a lack of foresight or discernment; a narrow view of something.
I think a lot of people in Western Culture are suffering from a type of myopia. We live very self-absorbed lives. We can talk narrowly about our lives, what we’ve experienced, stories about our sister or dog or kids or spouse or job. But we can’t talk about the big picture, something of greater significance from a larger story that encompasses all of us. We are nearsighted in our view of time and experience.
Have you noticed how rarely you hear people around you asking the great questions of history: "Who am I?" "What am I here for?" "How should I live?" "Is there a God?" "What is God like?" "What is God doing?"
Because we have defective "vision" and a narrow view of ourselves and the world, we tend to put ourselves in the center of our little universe. The things that happen to us and through us then become the key facts of history (or mystory) and the larger picture of things is blurred beyond recognition.
God's words found in the Bible tell the Big Story, the Grand Explanation of all things and people and time and eternity. Instead of letting us hide in our narrowly concerned lives, God presents a very different picture that shows us where our lives fit in The Story of Stories. Jesus is at the center of that Story, and as our understanding of His greatness and glory increases, our little stories begin to decrease, as do our problems and perceptions of ourselves. In this Story we find out who we really are, what we were created to be, why we aren't living as we should, and how to be truly human again.
I believe one of the best things any of us can do is to learn a new Story. We need to dive in to God's Grand Explanation of everything and see what's important, what's not, where significance is found, and Who is at the center. In this Story we won't always like what we find, but what we find there will be tremendously good for us and will show us a significance beyond the stories we know.