A literary theory tells me that all the stories in the world follow one of eight plots. Whatever factual or fictional story I might tell has already been told. I do not know how I could challenge the premise. There are individuals and communities that are a lot smarter than I am who have spent decades proving this to be true. What I know is that my stories are the fabric of my life. They contain characters, twists, and turns that I did not anticipate. While the story line may seem familiar, I am never sure if the stories of my life will follow the script.
I find that it is worth reflecting on how interesting stories lines can be, even if they seem vaguely familiar. The sense that things will work out is supported by a recurring story line that is familiar. It helps to know that God is present in every story. While Divinity may be hidden, the marks of compassion, mercy, and community are hard to miss. It is as if God is reminding us of the truths that are always around us.
I find myself holding truths that others have shared with me. While they are often familiar, the reminder takes me back to the center of who and what I am. I am a child of God. I am part of a great family and greater story. I am someone that can make a difference. When I look at you, I see the same story line repeating itself.
With the coming light of a new day, I find myself musing over other shared truths. From familiar ones to obscure ones, like Paul’s reminder that “this is all written in the scriptural law. Moses wrote, ‘Don’t muzzle an ox to keep it from eating the grain when it’s threshing,’” (1 Corinthians 9.9) we are surrounded by gems that can change our lives.
Repetition is good. It reminds us of the familiar as well as the things we have long forgotten. Today is an opportunity to replay compassion and mercy in the present.