- Adam Lorenz
We are suckers for a good story, for drama, for something compelling – aren’t we? No longer are we moved by the classic stories found in novels, but instead we seem caught up in the endless comparisons of each other through a social media site. From another’s photo on a feed to the clever commentary we might post in under 140 characters, we have made ourselves the protagonist in the narrative of life.
And in many ways this is true. Many of us have been blessed to have the ability to pursue a great story and to chase after our dreams. But what is as equally as true is that many do not. Many don’t even have boots, much less the bootstraps necessary to pull themselves up by.
But could we ever admit that somehow this push to live a great story necessitates seeing ones life as somehow more important than another’s? Could we admit that many of us believe in a good news that is only good for some?
This need for a story has become a burden for many. Instead of freeing individuals, a longing to do something ‘more’ has taken root. That somehow their story-arc isn’t enough, that somehow today is not leading where they believe it should. The irony in all this talk of narrative is the simple fact that in a good story, the characters themselves do not know where the story is headed – only the author does. The characters can only respond to what is placed in front of them.
So what is the good news for those both with boots and without?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that:
Jesus died on the cross alone, abandoned by his disciples. It was not two of his faithful followers who hung beside him, but two murderers. But they all stood beneath the cross: enemies and the faithful, doubters and the fearful, the scornful and the converted, and all of them and their sin were included in this hour in Jesus’ prayer for forgiveness.
The narrative that Christ invites us all into is some thing larger and more compelling than that next status update. The Good News is that we don’t know how our own stories will play out in the midst of this grand narrative. Blessing comes in many forms and fashions – from the commitment to work hard everyday to consultation of friends after heartbreak, from the ability to live a great story to engaging today, this day, fully.
We are united, humbled, and joined by the simple reality that Jesus included us all, no matter what category we fall into – boots or not.
Adam Lorenz is a rider, a thinker and a lifer. Currently he is pursuing his Master of Divinity at Western Theological Seminary and is a former pastoral resident at Mars Hill Bible Church working with high school students. He writes at www.adamlorenz.net and follow his daily thoughts on Twitter at @adamlorenz.