Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When did you stop...

A friend of mine shared a quick devotion with a group of us the other day. It was just a 10 minute portion of a ladies crafting event, something simple and light. I didn't quiet expect it to rock my world the way it did.

She began with this illustration:
There's an old story about a man, sick in soul, who visited a monk in the desert.
The monk asked him 3 things:

  1. When in your life did you stop singing?
  2. When in your life did you stop dancing?
  3. When in your life did you stop telling stories and finding enchantment in your own life's story? 

My internal answer? I don't remember.

When did I stop singing? - Well, never. I still sing to myself all the time. I've always got a song stuck in my head.
When did I stop dancing? - I don't know that I ever started. Now don't go thinking that's so sad. I'm just not a dancer. Maybe a little swing of the hips every once in awhile but I'm not one to blare the music and dance in my underwear (Grey's Anatomy reference anyone? No? Okay...)

But when did I stop telling stories and finding enchantment in my own life's story? Now that one got me.

I've always loved stories. I'm a bit of a book nerd, fiction being my favorite with biographies in a close second. I love to delve into someone else's experiences. But my all-time favorite stories have always been my dad's. He tells the best ones. I've always found so much joy just sitting next to him and listening to him retell all his adventures and the crazy situations he got himself into. He always has the best accompanying facial expressions, sound effects, and hand motions. I may have heard the one about the three wheeled volkswagon bug driving through the middle of the desert a hundred times before, I could probably tell you that same story in the same exact way he does, but I'll patiently listen again and again because I cherish hearing his stories from him.

And I've always wanted to tell stories like he does. To remember the pieces of my life and recount them to others in all the vivid details. To share the life lessons, to speak some wisdom, even just to get a little laugh. I've always wanted my stories to mean something to someone else like my dad's have meant to me.

But somewhere in the last few months, maybe it's even been slowly happening over the last few years, I've lost the enchantment in my life's story. In some way, I stopped noticing the beauty, the wonder of my own days. I've written them off as unimportant, less than, and unnoticeable.

I stopped telling my stories because I stopped believing that they meant anything.

The friend who shared the devotion led us to the book of Zephaniah, a small two page record of one of God's prophets. At the closing of his book he prophecies the restoration of Israel and in chapter 3 verse 17 he says this,

"For the Lord your God is living among you. 
He is a mighty savior. 
He will take delight in you with gladness. 
With his love, he will calm all your fears. 
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

I've returned to this verse over and over in the last few days.

God takes delight in me. He rejoices over me with joyful songs. My stories, my life, mean something to Him - He is enchanted by my stories! 

If the Almighty God, Creator of the world, Savior of men, the all-knowing Lord is enchanted by my story, how can I not be? If He rejoices over my life, how can I not find joy in my days?

My stories mean something to God. Even if He is the only one who ever cares, isn't that enough!? 

Yes, His delight in me is more than enough.

Like the man in the illustration, my soul has been sick. But I'm so thankful God intervenes to heal and restore even at the most unexpected times. So this is me, striving to rediscover the enchantment, delight, and love for my own story. Meanwhile, I'm finding rest in the Lord's joyful song and His wondrous presence.

Picture by Greg Rakozy/

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