As a storyteller, preacher, and teacher I have heard many times in my life “You seem to have a story for everything.” For a long time, I thought it was a blessing and a curse. A blessing that I had survived so many strange and unique experiences and a curse that the experiences seemed to fill my life. Lately, I have been pondering this odd “story for everything syndrome” in my life and have come to a few conclusions.
First I seemed to have passed through a great many unique and amazing events most often through ministry opportunities that have opened before me. To have been blessed to serve at 7 congregations, and with several other non-congregational ministries added into the mix over the past 57 years. I was blessed to work in Radio for a season, as a paperboy, as a camp counselor, a houseparent, in retail, with Office Max, K-Mart, and S.S. Kresge. God bless though of you that remember S.S. Kresge. I have lived in 5 different states in 10 different cities and more home than I can keep track of. I have traveled to 6 foreign countries and to well over 2/3rds of the United States. I have been a guest at lavished multicourse meals in beautiful settings and eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on dirt floors in some of the most impoverished people in our world.
Secondly, I am a storyteller, and I always have been. Some might just say I’m a talker and a bit of a ham, that too has served me well. I also am an introvert, some of you may need to read that again, but it is true I gain strength and recharge through my times alone, or with a small group of people. Although I enjoy speaking to large groups, and leading worship and other events, they are also exhausting for me and create great demand for naps, and quiet solitude. When you put together a storyteller and an introvert you get a person who ponders the events of their life through the lens of a story. I ponder my past and reflect on my future through the eyes of a running narrative, a giant story as it were.
Finally, you put this together with a God who chooses to interact with his creation on a day by day journey and reveal himself through one of the most impressive narratives ever told, and you find yourself with “a Story for Everything!.”
Recent events in my life and ministry have led me to question my role and place in life and ministry. I am forced to evaluate my calling and gifts. While pondering all of this lately and how I might best be a blessing to those around me, especially in these coming days when we find ourselves with extra time on our hands as a result of hunkering down to slow the spread of the Coronavirus I have come to another conclusion. (I love big sentences look at that last one!) While seeing God in the everyday experiences of my life, as storytelling comes fairly naturally to me, I believe it is a gift given to me by the Spirit of God, from the hand of the master storyteller. Likewise, it is not a gift given to everyone. Perhaps that is why so many seem amazed at my library of stories.
I want to spend some intentional time helping you to continue to see God in everyday life, and hopefully pass on a few lessons on how you can begin to build your own library of stories. I will be sharing stories, and story ponderings through this website in various ways. Some will come in the way of written ponders, not my strongest suit, some with come in video or audio format, or even through a photo that tells a particular story. As I begin this journey I would like to be in dialog with you, I want also to hear your stories, your reactions, your frustrations. Let’s together become more gifted at sharing our story so that others might see the even bigger storyline of our life and this world.
That reminds me of a story….