Stories and Myths

O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past–
stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
(Psalm 78:1-4)

In Scheherazade, I talked about the power of stories and why the art of narrative reveals so much about who we are. Stories do not just serve as a means of introspection; Psalm 78 exhorts us all to become storytellers in order to bear testimony to the great and mighty acts of the Lord. The stories we tell ourselves and future generations have eternal significance.

Unfortunately, there are many myths that permeate our culture. The myth of needing to be physically beautiful to have worth, the myth of needing financial wealth to be content, and the myth that our safety, security and comfort are the most important objects we can attain. These false narratives are damaging to the soul. They stifle our true selves by caging our hearts and making us forget that we once had wings to soar in the open sky.

True stories aren’t safe. But they are safer than trusting our lives to the crumbling ruins of myths. I would rather tell and live by a solid foundation of true stories, ones that deliver life and hope. In these stories there is a God who loves us so much that he came to die, but not even death could conquer him. In these stories he is alive today and establishing his Kingdom here on earth through people who love and trust him.

Whether we like it or not, we are all storytellers. It is time to decide what stories we must tell.

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