Thursday, January 27, 2005
Our Stories Matter
6 Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?
7 A righteous man who walks in his integrity —
How blessed are his sons after him.
Frederick Buechner describes the Word of God as a portrait of a Lover pursuing his beloved, of God’s pursuit of all of us in love, of our failures and his successes. I’m sure that he is right. Once the biblical story becomes my story, then I in some sense begin to incarnate the written word of God so as to complete the mission that Jesus started (and finished) so many centuries ago. Didn’t Jesus say to us that he will send us in the same way that the Father sent him? Didn’t he tell us that we would do greater works than he did? Why are we so unwilling to enter the story, to become willing participants in the great work and story of almighty God? We 21st century, post-modern humans are such idiots. We analyze and scrutinize the structure of everything from newspapers to movies, we even do the same to the Bible, and yet we are constantly missing the point! We are so out of sync with God’s story as to be totally missing his “Once upon a time” and “happily ever after.” John Eldredge is (to a degree at least) correct to point out to us our loss of story, our loss of God’s great epic being told even today. Take the verses quoted above—in today’s post-modern culture, the idea is to win at all costs as long as it doesn’t hurt another person. But if we live without faithfulness or without integrity, we are actually hurting the generation after us. Politicians may fume and fuss about this or that “personal situation” or whatever, but when our leaders show a remarkable lack of integrity, it sets the bar lower for the next generation. Guess what? They will live down to our expectations if we continue in this outrage. Why? I’ll tell you why, it is because they have seen a remarkable lack of loyalty and integrity in us. It’s true, and in our honest moments we know it! It is the story of life.