Lent 2013, Entry 27
A couple of excerpts from Scott McClellan’s tell me a story: Finding God (and Ourselves) Through Narrative to get the ol’ brain engaged:
Encountering God’s story as He has given it to us teaches us some important things about faith. For one thing, as the times and places and people change, the story marches on. In other words, the size and continuity of the story far transcend any one human life despite our preference to view life and history on these terms. God’s unfolding project is so expansive it shames our megalomania.
What really stood out to me was that last sentence. When I’m faced with the story that God is working on, not only in my own life (which, frankly, is difficult enough to think through) but also in the lives of every single person I come in contact with and every single person I don’t…well…mind = blown. So, the question I have for you is in what ways do you see yourself as a megalomaniac and what can be done to fight through that?
*In case you need help, according to Wikipedia, which quotes a psychological journal, defines “megalomaniac” as “Megalomania is a psychopathological disorder characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, or omnipotence. ‘Megalomania is characterized by an inflated sense of self-esteem and overestimation by persons of their powers and beliefs'” Wonder why the author chose that word? It’s powerful, no?
We’re not called to change the world, nor do we have the ability to change people. We’re just called to be witnesses. If enough people change so that the world changes, it’ll simply be in response to the Story being told millions of times by millions of relatively anonymous storytellers. The Good Samaritan was not a doctor and wasn’t responsible for healing the man in the ditch, and neither was responsible for ending the world’s violence or filling the world’s ditches. The Samaritan only had to dignify the man in the ditch as a human being made in the image of God and love him well–to Jesus, this was the story of a man who’d born witness to the eternal life in him by loving his neighbor. The lives and stories of others make it clear they’re in a ditch. They’re wounded and isolated and ignored. Our role is to tell them the ever-hopeful Story into which they’re invited.
I’m struck by the reality that we only have to somehow recognize the the inherent dignity God gives the folks we run into and love them well. First of all, how would this change our day-to-day, moment-by-moment lives if we thought that way? Secondly, do you think many followers of Christ think this way when they enter the daily arenas in which they encounter those that don’t know Christ (work, school, hobbies, etc.)?
That should be enough to get you chatting over the coffee, patrons. Have at it!