Every story, each memory and moment has a reference point and context. When I think of great achievements, the first thing I always think of is the people involved. Only after I place the people directly involved, reference where the current important people in my life now were at the time, do I begin to explore the interactions and results. It really isn’t as analytical, methodical, or difficult as it might appear. It is, for me a natural process I go through. Context and reference are important details to any story.
When I listen to other story tellers I look for the reference and context. I want to understand the story from all dimensions! The characters involved are important. The attitudes and cultural norms of the era provide important texture. The more the story teller provides the more complete my experience is.
I realize not everyone cares. They are looking for the bullet points and highlights. I don’t understand life that way. When a storyteller of yesterday began with the details – “During the time that Ahaz son of Jothan, son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel attacked Jerusalem, but the attack sputtered out. When the Davidic government learned that Aram had joined forces with Ephraim (that is, Israel), Ahaz and his people were badly shaken. They shook like trees in the wind.” (Isaiah 7.1, 2) I find myself caught up in the mystery. Tell me more! I want to understand the characters. I need to sense the missing dialogue which led up to the decisions on taking sides. There is a lot of different things going on!
Your life and mine is the same. We live in relationship to others, their stories, and a bigger community. We are never islands. We are never totally isolated. Whatever happens in our lives, other lives are touched.
Today a new paragraph, chapter perhaps, in our lives unfolds. Do we understand our reference points? Where is God in our picture? How do priorities and values fit?
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