Stories have a premise and a plot. Even as the outcomes surprise us, we intuitively know where the story is going and what might happen. Individuals analyzing our stories differ on their views of the absolute number of plots we use in our stories, however there is broad agreement that there is a limited number.
Initially the idea that my stories fit within a universal plot was disturbing. I thought each was unique! As I have shared them I have come to realize that there are repeating patterns. Our themes are universal. We long to belong to a community. We want and need to experience love. Beauty gives us hope. Wonder creates a sense of possibilities. In times of pain, we realize we need others.
Life reminds me that I have a framework with God at the center. It is constructed through a combination of study, experiences, and choice. Some suggest that one portion of my life’s framework is more important than another. At times, the voices are very specific. “If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection?” (1 Corinthians 15.13)
As I reflect on the larger conversation with several voices in it, I find myself going back to the elements that hold everything together. Do I know the framework of my life? I may not as much as I could or should. What I do know includes the following.
There is a God of love and mercy in your life and mine. We may not know or recognize the Divinity that rests within us, yet it is there.
God is engaged in every aspect of our lives. In success and failures, God is there. In our hopes and despair, God is present. In our rest and action, God is in our journey.
God loves us, just as we are. God wants to give us more – of everything. We have other load bearing walls in our lives. They depend on this core.