The story within


The story within


By Pamela Czarnota

Originally posted March 31, 2014, at Faith Formation. Republished with permission of the author.

Starter prayer: "God of all names and all love, give us hearts to include all that you are willing to include, to forgive all that you so easily forgive, and to join you in doing something truly "new" on this earth." (from “Wondrous Encounters” by Richard Rohr)

Sitting in memory's rocking chair, it is tempting to repeatedly return to the good old days, the familiar old ways.

But clearly (even in this moment) God is doing something new. Sometimes our sentimental recollection drifts to lament and then to resistance or defense. As the Holy Spirit meanders through the world, things shift and move, appear and recede. What was firm tradition becomes shaky, thin, even worn out. Those who were deemed insignificant or trivial become the movers and shakers. The rulers become the overruled.

We may ask, "What's going on? What's the story here?"

Well, what is going on is God's inclusive and creative power! God constantly, tirelessly and lovingly makes all things new! God's vision, what Richard Rohr calls "the Real Story," is always going on within our little stories.

When we focus solely upon our own little life or our own corner of the church, we can begin to rock back and forth with talk of how things used to be. We may join hands together in worry or frenzied fear that we are falling apart. We may exert our collaborative effort to strategize or plan the next goal or vision or program that will move us forward in a way that makes sense. (That exertion is just another form of a rocking chair! It gives us something to do, and we may feel better — but it won't necessarily make a lasting difference.)

We are losing control, we say. But Scripture reminds us that we never have been in control. We never will be.

Go ahead, get out of the rocking chair. Step from the porch of your own little life, your own little world. Free fall — now — into the delight and hope of God's vastness. You will be in good company!

Find a link to Pamela Czarnota’s blog Faith Formation at Lutheran Blogs.

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