The Best Story
. . . the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. Acts 3:15
When I was in middle school, we had an inmate from the nearby penitentiary come and give us one of those scared straight presentations. He spoke of a life of drugs and crime, with a message that was basically, “Don’t do what I did unless you want to end up like me.” While his story was fascinating, I remember thinking that it wasn’t all that compelling. I’ve always found it insincere to preach, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
If I’m struggling with something, I want to hear from the one who’s been there and who’s overcome. If I’m failing in my effort to lose weight, I want to hear from someone who knows the struggle and who’s found success. I don’t want to hear the scared straight story from the guy who’s dying from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. That person can’t help me because he couldn’t help himself.
Story – the right story – is powerful. When I go to jail or treatment, I don’t go to preach a sermon. If I did, the guys would tune me out pretty quickly. When I go, I use my story, which is the most powerful tool I have to connect with others who’ve struggled as I have. Those guys don’t need a scared straight lecture. They need a story of life and recovery.
In today’s passage, Jesus is referred to as the Author of Life (ESV). He is the source, originator, and creator of all life. If we want our story to be one of authentic life, we must allow him to write it. We often worry though, that we’ll lose the story we want if we surrender control. We think we’ll sacrifice who we are, becoming something we don’t want to be.
When we allow God to write our story however, we don’t lose ourselves. Rather, we intertwine our story with his, becoming who we were truly meant to be. Only in abandoning our way to follow Christ’s, do we become the best version of ourselves. In allowing God to write our story, we don’t lose out on anything except the self-destructive chapters that have caused us so much misery.
If we want our story to be the best it can be, if we want a story that God can use to help others, we must surrender our need to write it. Christ is the Author of Life. Daily, we must let him write.