The Stories You Tell

My almost 2 year old daughter is already a story teller. She doesn’t know how to put complete sentences together but she tells some stories. For example…

Reese: “Moo.” “Cow.” “Poop!”

Now to the un-enlightened that doesn’t seem like a story. It’s just three words. But she’s telling a story.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl named Reese. She was full of life but at times became full of fear. One day she went to visit some of her parent’s friends on a farm. She got so excited because this farm had COWS! For hours she talked about the cows that go moo. When she got to the farm she had a chance to go see the cows up close and personal. Her dad thought it would be a great idea but Reese had other thoughts. She became deathly afraid of going to see the cows. To see the cows Reese would have to ride in the dreaded truck. Her dad wanted her to experience something new so he forced her to ride. She cried at first but before long her tears dried up because she was headed to see the cows up close and personal. Not only did Reese ride in a truck to go see the cows go moo she also saw a cow poop. It was hilarious.

The End.

Yup. That’s my daughter.

She tells that story at least once a day every day for the last 5 days. It only takes her 3 words but she tells the story really well.

I’ve been thinking a lot about story. It’s Donald Miller’s fault. He wrote about it in his book “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years.” A story is “a character that wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the story that I’m telling. I’ve been thinking a lot about the stories that others are telling as well.

I’m convinced that when we don’t live a good story we will tell bad stories. Sometimes I listen to the stories that people tell and they are just bad.

Stories filled with mountains that should be mole hills.

Stories filled about what we don’t like instead of what we are doing to make a difference.

Stories about other people and their flaws.

Stories that are told but aren’t worth telling.

I know that not every conversation can be filled with epic stories but over the last month shouldn’t we have a story that is worth telling? How about the last year? Or even five years? What are the adventures that we are living? What are the risks that we are taking? What are the stories that we are telling with our lives?

Ultimately for me it’s not about just having a good story to tell. It’s about living a life worthy of the calling that God has placed on my life. I want to live a story that screams of God’s glory. I want people to see what God can do through the stories that I live.

When we live a great story we don’t have time for bad ones. We live the story and God gets the glory.

So the question is what is the story that you are telling with your life? Does it match the story that you want to be telling?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

21 Comments

  1. February 13, 2013

    We had a speaker at work a few years ago. He called himself Speaker Boy. He said that if you don’t like your story, change your script. I think everyday we have the opportunity to make our script better or worse. I choose better.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2013

      Larry, he didn’t really call himself speaker boy? I guess it’s memorable.

      Reply
  2. February 13, 2013

    Pretty intelligent little girl you have there Rob. Two years old and telling complete stories. Artie Davis’ new book, Craveable, is saying what you are saying. We tell stories and the story we tell gives people an idea of who Jesus is. We talk/act like a jerk then they think Jesus is one. Visa versa. I want my story to be one that goes into eternity promoting ONE.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2013

      Bill, I will need to look into Craveable. Sounds amazing!

      Reply
  3. February 13, 2013

    I love this post. It really speaks to me and not because I have a great story to tell. My story for the past decade has not been worth a crap for the most part, but I have been trying to make things different. Even if I never find that story arc that wows people, perhaps just the fact that I tried may have to be good enough.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2013

      Daniel, the great thing is that none of our stories are finished. As long as we are breathing we are living a story. Keep living! Um…that sounds like you are on your deathbed. Not what I meant.

      Reply
    • Kayri McCartin
      February 13, 2013

      Daniel, you may never know how God uses your attempt to change to inspire others. :) Keep on, brother! If you’re lucky, you may get to see the impact you have while you’re still on this side of Heaven.

      Reply
  4. February 13, 2013

    The part of this post that meant a lot to me was how Reese cried and didn’t want to get in the truck, but ended up talking about it for days to come because you knew if she overcame her fear she would love it. Lots of people aren’t telling good stories because of whatever “truck” they’re afraid to ride in.
    That brings it home for me… thanks Reese & Rob.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2013

      Hag, I should have let you write this. GREAT insight.

      Reply
  5. shepherdmim
    February 13, 2013

    I have been thinking about a never ending story. A story that is lived well has sequels. I want my children and my children’s children to have the inheritance of prayer blessings that will elevate their effectiveness and empower their stories to impact the world and the Kingdom.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2013

      Mim, sounds amazing! I’m thankful I’m your kid.

      Reply
  6. February 13, 2013

    Cute story, Reese!

    I loved “A Miillion Miles In a Thousand Years”.

    I’m going through Storyline now.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2013

      Ricky, how is Storyline? I really want to take a group through that but it’s $30 so I am hesitant.

      Reply
  7. jebatthebeach
    February 13, 2013

    I can definitely say my story gets better and better.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2013

      Joan, yippee ki-ya.

      Reply
  8. February 13, 2013

    It gets really difficult to talk about life stories when you grow up in church and didn’t get saved from a life of drug addiction, drunkeness, or anything like that…
    I never ran away.
    My first drink of alcohol was on my honeymoon…and I didn’t finish it!!
    I don’t cus…uh…very very very rarley…like only when I hurt my toe. lol..
    so i know it’s tough for Church Kids to feel like they got a good story to tell…
    But what i’ve come to realize…
    is that GOD guarded my heart from those things. He soveriegnly did. He wanders our steps rights?…
    and that is a pretty cool story.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2013

      Arny, I hear ya. The fact though that you stayed on the straight and narrow is an amazing story. That’s rare to hear about today. I also think that by living for God and taking some holy risks we can continue to live a great story now.

      Reply
  9. February 13, 2013

    Rob, he really did. He really, really did.

    Reply
  10. Kayri McCartin
    February 13, 2013

    I try to make my story reflect that I know Romans 3:10 by heart because it’s definitely about imperfect me. I meet so many people (especially among my students) who have been turned off from Jesus’s message because of someone’s superiority complex. That worries me. Non-Christians need to know that they don’t have to be anywhere near perfect to qualify. And holier-than-thou Christians need to know that they’re no better than the other sinners they’re chastising. Some Christians are killing Christ’s message as much as non-Christians do. For instance, a while back, one of my family members (who worked for years as a missionary to foreign countries!) posted a snotty, negative comment on Facebook with a link to an article about some pastors who were spending Christmas Eve serving drinks at local bars. I “accidentally” didn’t see her derisive remark and commented that I thought that was a great idea because someone spending Christmas Eve in a bar could probably use to hear about Jesus.

    “We” are not better than “them,” we’re just lucky enough to already be saved from our humanity, stupidity, stubbornness & ongoing sin. We need to spread that message, because a lot of people need to hear it before they’ll really listen when we talk about Jesus.

    Reply
    • February 14, 2013

      Kayri, I love the way that you are living your story for your students. If not by the grace of God we are the them that you refer to. Except for Jesus all the great stories in the Bible are about flawed characters who live for God.

      Reply
  11. February 14, 2013

    I totally like this article! Good words and a great message. Of course I might be a little jaded as the content mentions offhand my blog’s title and foundation.

    Reply

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