Day //21// of a 30 day personal publishing challenge on identity in Christ
Some stories have the most unlikely plot twists.
Sometimes the hero turns out to be the villain.
Sometimes the peasant is actually the princess.
Sometimes the wrong people die…or the ones who should, don’t.
Sometimes we love it — other times we hate it. (And, if you’re like me, you want to rip the pages out and hurl the cover across the room…but you can’t, because you Have. To. Find. Out. What. Happens. Next.)
Here’s what we do know:
Every truly good story has unpredictable plot twists.
We don’t waste our time on a story when we know what happens next. We want surprise. Adventure. Something unexpected that takes our breath away, or twists a tear from our eyes.
We want to be blindsided by beauty, shocked by the sudden sellout, moved to find the meaning.
What if we looked at life this way?
There have been plenty of unexpected plot twists in my own story, and yours too, I’ll bet. Some of them have been beautiful. Others, not so much. Some of our sagas play out like a horror story across the page. Others feel like a fairy tale (don’t worry, the dragon shows up sooner or later).
I’ve been asking myself a question for a while:
What if I recognized that the surprise twist, the unexpected ending, was the story that was meant to exist, all along?
What if the pain, the suffering, the disappointment, the confusion, the dead ends, the stall outs, the ill health, the break up, the limitations, were all what makes the story a good one?
In between every once upon a time and happily ever after, there are a few dragons and demons.
Some of the best stories center around a main character who doesn’t know who he is. We always thrill with the magic of a lost, but now uncovered, true identity.
What if everything you have suffered in this life has been for one purpose — the purpose of pointing you toward your true identity?
The most basic identity of any human being is that of an Image-Bearer. Made by God, in the likeness of God, for God. To be known, chosen, cherished, and ultimately to know him — the Ultimate Storyteller.
For God, there are no insignificant stories.
Only stories with meaning beneath the mess, and redemption amid the wreckage.
Not to mention, some of the most confusing plot twists mankind’s ever encountered.
Abraham and Isaac.
God dying to rescue man.
From Peter’s perspective, and Nicodemus’, and Mary’s, and Herod’s, it was not a good story. It was a horror story. A disappointment. A tragedy. A waste.
Yet no story has ever shaken creation to its core like this one has. No story has ever sustained so many people through so many tragedies. And no story has ever provided so many with hope of a happy ending.
That’s what we have, because of Christ. Hope for an ending better than the beginning, or the middle, or the climax.
The picture in our mind’s eye is often so one-dimensional.
What if we could choose to trust that our good Father has a better, richer, deeper, plot than what we can dream up on our own?
And what if that plot was about knowing him better? What if that is actually The Point of the story?
Let’s not kid ourselves — it’s hard to want to keep reading when the story is suddenly about something different than we thought. But sometimes those kind of plot twists, if we can wrap our head around them, are the best, and most meaningful of stories.
Let’s believe that the plot twist is leading us to a better understanding of the best Storyteller there ever has been.
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