Try Story

story - open bookI love that Christianity is all about story. It is rooted in the immense narratives of the Old Testament and comes to bloom in the strange and wonderful story of Jesus. We believe that true life is not a string of truths or a complex philosophy or a system of rules and moral codes. No, our faith is best represented by a phrase such as, “In the beginning . . .” or, “There once was a man who had two sons.”

A story is a meaningful sequence of events during which the main character goes through a transformation. A story always goes somewhere. In a story there is motion and drama.

St. Ignatius understood that our lives are in motion, that we are living stories. A great deal of our spiritual health lies in our ability to see the story-ness of our existence. And not only do we learn to see our lives as meaningful sequences of events, and ourselves as the main characters who become transformed, but we learn to recognize another major character in our lifelong story. God has always been in our story, and as our eyes are opened and we see where God’s love, peace, power, wisdom, and grace intersected our personal sequence of events, we begin to embrace our lives as sacred story—lovely, grace-filled story.

For instance, today was its own mini-story in your life. Can you find the plot? Can you cheer yourself on as the main character? And can you see God entering each scene?

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Vinita Hampton Wright
Vinita Hampton Wright edited books for 32 years, retiring in 2021. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places and spirituality books Days of Deepening Friendship, The Art of Spiritual Writing, Small Simple Ways: An Ignatian Daybook for Healthy Spiritual Living, and, most recently, Set the World on Fire: A 4-Week Personal Retreat with the Female Doctors of the Church. Vinita is a spiritual director and continues to facilitate retreats and write fiction and nonfiction. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and a cat in Springdale, Arkansas.

8 COMMENTS

  1. In a way, it is easier to look at a day and see the stories of others and how each individual’s story interacted with the other at a moment with God stepping into the moment and connecting the stories. It is more difficult to see my own story clearly and with truth, but this is something worth working on.

  2. Hi Vinita. This is Larry Gamboa from Manila. WHY TRY STORY? Strange title. Why’d you choose it? Yes love the rest. How the Old Testament is a story preparing for an amazing story. Probably the most amazing story ever. And how my story intersects with that story. Daily.

  3. As Aristotle said, a story has a beginning, middle, and end; and the beginning is not necessarily preceded by anything and the end is not necessarily followed by anything and the middle necessarily connects the beginning to the end. We need to see the connectedness of our choices in life without losing sight of how they lead to the end and where that end will be.

  4. …..all about story…..rooted in the immense narrative of the old testament..
    yes yes yes, Vinita Thank you for this piece ( peace ! )
    Our grandchildren ( 5yrs 3yrs and 2yrs ) have re-awakened my faith and longing for God

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