Stories fascinate me… they are the foundation of our live and our relationships. We are a product of our story- our experiences and interactions -with the people in our lives- in the midst of the daily-ness of living…
Stories are our history, yet they shape our futures because we live them out in the present. Not trying to be lofty, or even profound – but think about that for a moment…
History- where we came from… our parents and grandparents stories influenced us because they lived in their unfolding.
Futures are created in the decisions we make today AND those are all colored by both the thoughts and events of moment and all that came before.
What is your story? Understanding it is a crucial part of living with intention, building strong relationships and being successful in business and life endeavors.
For example, today I took a huge risk and reached out to a prominent person for some help with an upcoming project. We had a connection via Social Media, but it was a RISK for me.
Why? Because of my story.
- I am not so great at needing let alone Asking – I am better at giving!
- My childhood, while filled with love, education, and hard work – you made you own way. Prominence, fame was for “those other folks.”
- My own experiences as a “grown up” included watching from the outside, nose pressed against the glass, wondering what it would be like to be part of “them.”
- Struggles and set backs were more the norm than abundance and advantage in the material world.
- One new friend said, “your life reads like a Shakespearean tragedy, why are you so hopeful? My response, “I know how to do hard… my faith is strong, my marriage is good… and I am resilient.”
So this was way outside my comfort zone.
- Why would this person be moved to help me?
- What would they think?
- Was it boldness or boundary crossing to ask?
All of these thoughts swirled against the newer story I am creating:
- Working to change thought patterns, habits, and not be defined by history.
- Choices of believing in possibility, risking being disappointed, knowing it’s not personal.
- Believing I am deserving of help, and others are willing to be as giving as I am.
Risk is also part of my story, as well as my history, so those sparks ignited to push me forward and Ask!
What is your story and how does it shape your decisions, relationships, thoughts?
Sometimes stories unfold without our even being aware of their significance until much later. This is true for Simone of Cyrene . He was just coming into town from the country, minding his own business; probably wondering why there was such a crowd. Curious, he pushed to the front
Story Question: What made Simon a curious sort of fellow, or a bold enough man to push through the crowd vs hang back? – Imagine why he might be this kind of guy?
Simon heads into the crowd – its an angry one, yelling, jeering… was he concerned? He knew some folks in the crowd, because the story teller, witness to the events, mentions Simon’s son by name.
Maybe they told him about the man who was to be crucified, falsely accused, innocent, and condemned to die. Did he want to help or just see the charade for himself.
Story Question: Was he raised by parents who fought for justice? Was he burdened by the fate of the oppressed?
Regardless, Simon surged forward to see with his own eyes the unfolding story he was not part of. Without choice, on a simple walk home, he had stumbled into a history changing moment. I wonder about his mood.
Story Question: How was his family treated by the political party in power? Was he a fan of the Romans or disgusted with them because of stories told by his parents and grandparents about their oppressive rule?
Standing at the front of the crowd, eyes on the beaten and bloodied man struggling under the weight of his burden; Simon’s story collides with Jesus, the Roman government – and history.
Jesus fell. The Roman soldier demanded Simon carry the cross, too heavy for this seemingly broken man.
Story Question: Did Simon know who Jesus was? Had he heard this “false teacher” speak or seen him do miracles and what could he have been thinking or feeling in that moment.
This was a walk of shame for any citizen – it was the death path for criminals. For Simon it was a life changing moment. Simon’s encounter with Jesus changed the trajectory of his life.
We don’t know much about Simon. But we do know he is forever linked to the Greatest Story Ever Told because of his actions that day. Actions, influenced by his stories and histories.
The Passion of the Christ film portrays him as a Jew being forced by the Romans to carry the cross, who at first is unwilling, but as the journey to Calvary continues, Simons shows compassion to Jesus and helps him make it to the top. I like this telling, it fits with the history of those who encountered Jesus up close and personal.
There is a Story that unfolds this coming week that changed the course of history. I believe the Hope of Jesus enable us to change our stories, shape our thoughts and be active participants in how our stories unfold.
Imagine you were in Simon’s shoes… how does this story impact you? What life altering or direction changing stories does it bring to mind in your past? How does the power of story impact your thoughts and decisions today?
Share your thoughts and let’s chat!