“Like the story you’ve been given because it’s not going to change”
I was listening to an interview recently and the interviewee (Sally Clarkson) made this comment. (I’m not going to lie, I have never read anything by Sally Clarkson, but I subscribed to her podcast after listening to her in the interview. I loved her energy and her insight.)
At first, I was like “Yep! Own it!”
Then I let it percolate some more.
Did you ever read those books as a kid (or maybe played the computer games) where you had a choice about how the story would go? Every choice you made in the book or game, would determine where the story was going to take you. Every time it could be different based on the choices you make.
Those books/games mimic life. Every day I get the opportunity to make choices that help determine where my story is going.
While what Sally said still resonates with me and I do (mostly) agree with it, I also believe my story is not fully written.
Sally is right. The past chapters of my life are not going to change. Even if I don’t like it, I have to own it. I was dealt a hand that if I had not gone all-in (in life and living), I would have folded and walked away from the table. But life is a precious gift, not something to walk away from.
The more I pondered this quote, it reminded me of a book by Adam Hamilton that I read several years ago. “Why? Making Sense of God’s Will.” There was a subsection in one of the chapters titled “Is the Story of Your Life Already Written, or Is It a Work in Progress?”
I was going through a tough time when someone gave me this book. After reading it, I wrote my own interpretation about God being “The Great Architect” – I would post a link but it was on another platform that I don’t use any longer so here is an excerpt:
My interpretation, after reading the book, is that God has a blueprint. I’m not an architect (nor have I played one on TV as the old commercial goes), but I do know that a blueprint is a plan, a starting point. Thinking in terms of building a home, it is easy for a new homeowner to think “oh, I would like to be able to put the refrigerator over there” after seeing the walls go up. A thought like that can have several different impacts to the architect. If you put the refrigerator there, we can’t put the sink here and the stove won’t fit there. The cabinets that were ordered may not fit. Or perhaps while looking through design magazines the excited homeowner sees a new design that they want to incorporate. While these changes may seem small to the owner, the architect is behind the scenes adjusting the blueprints so that the new homeowner’s vision becomes seamless. In this scenario, I am the homeowner and God is the architect. Decisions by me, or even by those around me that may impact me, or perhaps even a force of nature like a tornado or fire, change the plans. God takes the decisions/events in our lives and makes adjustments to the blueprints. It is our choice to look at the new blueprints and decide if we like the new design. God can take the challenges and the decisions that may not have been in the original plans and turn them into something beautiful. Every day the new blueprint is placed before us, we have to make the decision to accept the changes or throw them out.
(P.S. This was written many years ago and instead of editing I am reposting an actual excerpt from the original post)
So, yes, I do agree with Sally that we must embrace the story that is already written. But I believe I also have the chance to embrace the story that is still being written and make it even better than the one in my rearview mirror.
Are you embracing the story that has been written? How are you embracing the past to write the story that is yet to be written?