I have no idea who said this but I know I didn’t make it up myself. Someone told me once that we all have a sermon and each Sunday we just preach it a lot of different ways. I’ve thought about this for awhile, and I have found this idea intriguing. In discussion with Josh back and forth over sermons or with Mike back and forth over music, there’s a part of me that does believe that each of us is given this essence, this thing within us that’s just trying to get out and that’s our story. It’s our thing to share with the world. All of us are different. And that’s what makes it beautiful. We’re not competing over who has the best one or who has the loudest or most compelling, but we each have one to share. Each of us.
I think for me it’s this incarnational theology thing. I don’t even want to know how many sermons I talk about Emmanuel – God with us, that the Great God of the universe decided to come and be one of us, that God is with us in the midst. I know I must say in the midst all the time. I don’t know why this gels with me so much, but even if I’m not preaching about it – let’s say I’m talking about human trafficking or Ruth or the early church in Acts – whatever it is, somehow I end up back with this same uncontrollable and thirsty desire to talk to people about this Savior that wants to know them. Not in an arrogant, aren’t we humans so cool, kind of way, but in a I want to know you and I created you and I have this awesome and amazing journey for you to go on. Not saying that those are always easy stories – because there’s a lot of hurt and evil and junk out there, but a God that goes with us and that gets down in the mud and muck with us – that’s a God I can follow.
I could go down a list of what I think people’s sermons/songs/stories are. Is that weird? But can you think about it? The people around you – what is their thing? What is their essence? What is that thing that they point to?
Let me put in a musical perspective. I am not a musician. I am married to one and I love him and he says I don’t count anymore as a non-musician because I’ve heard him talk so much about it. Maybe that’s true. But I love music. Y’all know I love music. My mind thinks in songs which is why I should give money to youtube because I use their videos so much. So back to music – I digress – there’s this guy Stephen Oremus – arranger, orchestrator, musical director. Randomly in July 2005 Mike and I won tickets to Wicked, the musical on Broadway. (I know, I know, I can’t shut up about Broadway, but I like it. I really, really like it.) There’s was a guy conducting or whatever you would call that and he had the best time. He was laughing and smiling and enjoying it in an amazing way. Then here we are this past May and we won tickets to the Book of Mormon Musical and here’s this conductor smiling and so enthusiastic and really loving it and lo and behold – same guy. Stephen Oremus.
Now the guy doesn’t even have a wikipedia page, and I’m tempted to write it myself because I really enjoy what he does. He arranged the music for Avenue Q and Wicked and 9 to 5 and High Fidelity and All Shook Up and the Book of Mormon and as someone who at least loves and owns the soundtrack to three of those, I can hear similarities and musical themes that are common throughout and it’s so cool. It’s just good music and arrangement. As Mike and I were talking about this he talks about how sometimes musicians don’t want to have those themes throughout – you know just like in Project Runway when the girl had all the clothes with petals – you don’t want to be stuck on the one note. But then he changed his mind and said, maybe that’s this guy’s thing. Maybe that’s his gift, his essence – his thing to give.
I don’t know. Call me crazy. But I feel like all of us have that “thing” within us that’s waiting to burst out. That gift whether it be the timid girl who then starts belting out the notes in Sister Act or even the first time Billy Graham stepped behind a pulpit or the first time you do that thing that just makes you feel beyond any word like happy, but alive or content or at purpose.
What’s that thing you want to share with the whole world? What is it that you think they just have to know? How do you share it in your own unique, God-given way?
I get the fear and the doubt and the times you may not feel it and the times when you’re frustrated or annoyed or just plain old pooped. But what’s the story of your life?
Is my story – tired, frantic mother? Is my story – I’ll be glad to talk to you when I’m fully rested and in a good mood and with the right amount of caffeine? Is my story…
If you could tell someone in three sentences or less your greatest purpose or piece of advice or rule to live by or other cliched phrase. If you could share the very essence of who God created you to be with someone, what would that look like? Words? A picture? A song? A hug? A sweater?
Think about it. What’s your thing to share? Your gift to give? What’s your story? And how is it part of the greater story around us? How are we sharing it with the world?
I love this song. I actually love Michael W. Smith’s entire Trilogy on the I’ll Lead You Home album. I know, I know – old school Christian music. Don’t ask me how something titled Angels Unaware fits with this, but somehow I think we live our stories. We live who we are in the good, the bad, and the ugly. On the great days and on the dark days. Whether there are angels unaware or whether we’re right there in the presence of God – we’ve been created and life breathed into us and a story placed in our hearts and on our lives. We don’t always have to have it figured out or feel like we’re good enough, but God is faithful to us and we can trust God’s grace and mercy and never-ending love is available to each of us.
I honestly think of this song every time I say, what’s your story? Matthew West says it well in the Next Thing You Know.
So what’s your story about God’s glory? How are you letting your life speak to the world?