I met a man at the courthouse the other day who was there with his mother (my client) comforting her and walking with her through some legal matters. We talked for a while about the legal situation and the strategy of how we were going to deal with it. Then, as we waited for court to start, the man opened up and told me his story. I had known him about 15 minutes and he confessed his past which was filled with addiction and disappointment culminating with an arrest and conviction that resulted in jail time. He told me that the greatest thing that ever happened to him was getting locked up as that is when he found his Passion. His eyes were finally opened when his physical line of sight was limited by bars and walls with no freedom to explore anything more than his guards allowed him access to.
Like he said to me in the courthouse, we reap what we sow and the crop we produce keeps yielding fruit even after we change our seed. But that works both ways and gives hope when we start working towards the right things. There may still be remnant of the destruction from the junk we have allowed in (which can often be very socially acceptable such as workaholics at the expense of family or secretive such as a pornography addiction at the cost of our wives sense of value). His eyes were fixed beyond the wreckage, though, and he could see the sun rising with a heart set on walking out of the plans of evil and into the arms of Victory.
This man was finally in a position to say yes to the call of his heart beyond the years of hurts, failures and destruction. The spiral had started a long time ago and taken him to the brink of ruin but now Light and Life finally broke through and he said, “yes” to the invitation which was persistent over the years. He was finally sick and tired of the emptiness and pain and at the end of himself. Since then, he just wants to tell his story and help other people; in fact, he is interviewing for jobs where he can do just that on a full-time, professional basis. He is operating completely from his story and the passions which are in his heart with abandon and without shame. He knows who he is (and isn’t) and what his purpose is (even though it’s not a profession, yet). You couldn’t keep this guy from telling his story if you tried and once you hear his heart come out of his mouth, you couldn’t help from being impressed with the Grace and Power in his testimony.
Our stories are powerful and transformative if we aren’t afraid to share them and be vulnerable to the potential judgments and mocking of the occasional critic. Do you know your story? I mean, the depth behind the transactions. Your story matters to you . . . why are you how you are and what is keeping you from how you wish you were? Your story also matters to others as we are designed to live this experience out in relationship with each other, sharpening others and being sharpened ourselves by others. Ask somebody their story . . . learn how to tell yours.