Why Your Life Story Has Enormous Power4 min read
You have a life story. We all do. How significant is your story? Perhaps you wish you had a different story. Maybe you even wish you could live someone else’s story.
My story has had some challenging and painful chapters. I’m sure yours does, too.
It’s easy to look around and see other stories that look better than our own. But where the grass looks greener, what we don’t see are the weeds, stumps, and rocks that had to be cleared before the ground could be tilled, and the grass planted.
We assume their story’s better because we don’t see the messy chapters in their lives. But they had to get through those chapters to get to the good ones.
Don’t discount your story. We each need to embrace the story we have. Every human story has enormous power to change not only the world, but eternity.
There’s Power in the Role You Choose
Most stories that get our attention have a protagonist and antagonist. Eve and the serpent. Moses and Pharaoh. Christ and Satan.
Every human story is tied to a greater story. It’s God’s story. God is the protagonist and Satan is the antagonist.
What we get to decide is whether we will be on God’s side, showing and telling how His mercy and justice has touched us. Or we can choose Satan’s side, accusing God of being unjust, and arguing for eternal death.
We have two roles to choose from: Sidekick (God’s side) or Skeptic (Satan’s side). Any other option is a variation of these. There is no middle ground (Matthew 6:24).
Power channels through the role you choose and determines the influence you’ll have on those around you.
There’s Power in Your Influence
The plot of a story is moved forward by its characters. God’s story is no different.
Even characters with minor roles can turn a plot in unanticipated ways. For example, Pharaoh’s cupbearer’s prison encounter with Joseph brought Joseph out of prison into Pharaoh’s court (Genesis 41). In the Exodus, the spies who returned from Canaan with fear in their hearts led the Hebrews into 40 years of desert wandering (Numbers 13-14).
We may think our influence is limited to the handful of people we live and work with. It’s not. Like the ripples in a lake created by the splash of a small pebble, our influence reaches to places we’d never imagine.
However minor our role might seem, we have an influence for good or evil in God’s story (Galatians 5:19-25). A harsh word, a friendly smile, a missed opportunity to help a stranger, a caring touch — we have enormous power to make a world of difference.
The 20-year-old daughter of a friend of mine recently collided with a truck while riding her bicycle. Thousands of people around the world gathered and prayed for Maddy as she lay silent, in a coma in her hospital bed. Hundreds posted on Facebook and Twitter offering their encouragement. In this chapter of her story, she went to sleep in Jesus.
Maddy was a young woman whose story is relatively short. By the world’s standards, her existence and accomplishments were insignificant, and her story ended tragically. She wasn’t a celebrity. She claimed no great achievements, but her friends remembered her as someone who loved everyone.
I read on Facebook the eulogies offered to Maddy by people who cared. People who never knew Maddy commented on how she, even in her death, touched them. One woman wrote: “Reading about Maddy… has touched my life, renewing my desire to make a difference with the days I have.”
As insignificant as yours or my story may seem, each story has the power to influence others. One unconscious act may draw one person closer to God, or turn them away. The role we choose and the influence we exert will impact people we may never meet. Sidekick or skeptic, for good or evil, we affect the plot and outcome of God’s story in which He gave all to save lost people.
Each day opens a new chapter in which we will choose and act in God’s story. Let’s begin by opening God’s Book to learn our part and find our place in His story. What role will you play today? Leave a comment, and tell the world.