Some might deem it sad that I love the “Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer/The West Wing/Alias/Lost……etc” bits at the beginning of TV episodes. Even when I’m rewatching I don’t skip those bits. They’re important: they remind you of what’s gone and point to what’s to come (it’s a “remember that from 4 weeks ago? it’s about to become uber-revelant this week” kind of thing).
So in the spirit of the “previously” montages (and because every time I hear it it makes me think of two special friends – yes, you Mel and Becki!) here is my own….
Previously on Thatstorygirl…..
Story is as essential to each of us as water and air. Story is an essential component of successful community. We can all start over, we all need forgiveness, we all need to forgive, fantasy helps in our healing. The relationship between mothers and daughters is bloody complicated. Dreams and hopes are an essential component of a healthy psyche. Adventure is important to humanity, standing up to bullies is heroic, Friendship is beautiful and essential for life. Community is broken, the soul of Story is damaged. Community can be fixed and regaining true Story is the main ingredient in repairing community and relationships.
Sometimes our beliefs can be used to create our reality; we discover the importance of Dreams to the soul of humanity; people are used to fuel the voracity of the consumer machine; We can all use Dreams and Story to break free from the slavery of commoditisation. We can become damaged by life, poisoned by fear or crippled by cruelty. Occasionally we need to stop and smell the flowers. We can adapt to our surroundings. God can heal, but even when he doesn’t, Keep Praising! He Who saves the life of one man saves the world entire I’m still looking for an alternative third way between bombing and doing nothing in those desperate situations in our world. Follow the example of the heroes of Justice who respect and protect each man’s worth. Dwell on lovely things. Family are the people who behave that way. Music is balm for all our souls There are only 7 (or 3 or 5) archetypal stories. Repeating those stories is how we learn about ourselves, the world and God; and we need to repeat them over and over again. Repetition is the key to true story. What we have to do without is no use thinking more about.
Following Jesus’ call to “Make disciples” really isn’t about numbers or stats or having a big church (I’d go as far as saying a church bigger than 400 is way way to large). Instead it’s being Jesus to those around us, bringing the Kingdom into the places we live and work and connecting with our friends and family – and even our enemies – in such a way as to effect a change in them through the Holy Spirit. “Be less concerned about how many people are coming in your doors and more concerned with sending folk out the doors. Build the community of Christ where the people are.” Becoming a disciple is giving control. It’s utter surrender. Godlikeness has little to do with power and everything to do with Character – a character of acceptance, of forgiveness, of never ever letting go. We need to simultaneously embrace our past and move on from it – a tension essential to our spiritual, emotional and mental health.
Not all who are disciples know they are disciples. Many follow Jesus, help to bring in His Kingdom and display the fruits of goodness. A corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit and just because a good tree producing good fruit isn’t part of our garden does not mean it’s not one that will be welcomed into the kingdom. Do not ignore your past, moving on is all very well, but your past is what makes you. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater – Acknowledge mistakes hurts and pain and embrace them, move on from those parts; but also celebrate your successes, embrace the beautiful portions of your past, embrace loyalty, dedication, stickability.
We all have a purpose, we all fit into the great clockwork of life. Even good purposes harm if they are not our true purpose. We all have an individual purpose, but our common purpose is clear: to serve and please others. Find the sacred time where you can be closest to God.
Our deepest dream is reconciliation
The Twelve days of Christmas – because one day isn’t enough to contain Jesus and you should finish the things you start.