August 12, 2010-- Stories
Everyday Alpha gets questions from people from around the world about God. The top questions seem to surround the issue of suffering. I wonder if there is ever a good enough answer for those suffering that would help them. What is it that they are going through that would ask these questions to God. These great questions because at sometime in all our lives we have asked them and even continue to ask them. What are the stories behind them? A few weeks ago, I officiated a wedding, and this past week, I officiated a funeral. As the book of Ecclesiastes says, there is a season for everything. I also realized at those two different ceremonies I had said something in common. I didn't realize this until I started reflecting on it, and it came with more force today when I sat down with a CEO of a biometric company. We talked about telling the story of God through what we do, and in my case Alpha. What story are we telling now, and what story do we want to tell. At the wedding, it was the next chapter of this couples life, and taking in all the realities of shaping it and allowing it be shaped by God since he loves renewal, growth, and redemption. At the funeral, it is the next chapter for those attending so they can use the experience of the loss and help them mature and impact the world with the light of God. With my meeting today with the CEO, it is the next chapter of his company so that he can bring about impact in the world with the ideas that God has given him. All of these three situations are stories within a larger story that God is weaving and it was helpful to see that the wedding couple is weaving a story, the funeral attendees are weaving a story, and the CEO is weaving a story. What story are you (am I) weaving with God, and am I excited that he has privileged us with this? Do I sometimes look on the back of a tapestry and focus on it so much that on the other side of the tapestry there is something beautiful being shaped? The Bible story always starts with beauty (Genesis 1) then it involved The Fall but then redemption. God knows that sin and hurt have come through relationship, yet it will be through relationship that hope, healing, and renewal will happen. In the movie Chariots of Fire, Olympic gold medal winner and future missionary to China, Eric Liddell says, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure." When we recognize how God meets us moment to moment(creating a story), we begin to understand our lives as a continual encounter with God and celebration of God's presence. My prayer is that our moments our stories is where we feel God's pleasure.