Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.
- Anne Lamott
Do you realize just how many stories you tell someone in a week, a month, a year? We all tell real life stories, all the time, whether we know it or not.
Here’s a quick one. A few years back, my teenage daughters and I were watching one of those holiday parades on television in our living room. After watching a few marching bands go by, I planned with my girls to play a trick on my wife, who was in the kitchen.
Just as the next band was being introduced, we were going to shout that it was from her alma mater, James Madison University, where she played flute in the band. So we started shouting, “Mom, Mom! Come look!” But the joke ended up being on us: Believe it or not, it actually was the JMU marching band. I have no idea how that happened, but it did. And now we remember that story year after year.
It’s true that I don’t have very many real life stories like that one. In fact, most of the time I’m a bit of a quiet guy, not really the life-of-the-party type. But when I think of all the experiences that add up, there’s a lot to tell. I can’t explain it all, but it happened. I’ve been touched by just a few of history’s great events. I’ve made it through some big challenges. I’ve learned things about life and have a point of view that is unique and valuable. And I know I’m not being immodest when I say that God planned it that way—not just for me but for each one of us. We’re all intended to be a unique and rare combination of experiences, appearance and temperament.
So of course we have true inspirational stories to tell, and they are stories worth telling. Whether it’s with a friend over dinner, standing around the water cooler at work, or watching your kids or grandkids play soccer, I hope you’ll never be shy in sharing a part of yourself. God made you a unique, interesting person, and it’d be a shame to hide that from others.
Now a word from our sponsors: I hope you’ll forgive me if I mention a new initiative going on here at Guideposts.
If you’ve ever had a strong desire to tell your own real life story—some call it a burning passion, others “a calling”—then I would recommend you check out Inspiring Voices, the new do-it-yourself book-publishing imprint from Guideposts. There are packages to fit almost any budget.
What’s more, the Inspiring Voices Book Publishing Contest is going on right now. Send in your manuscript and you can become eligible to win a free publishing package. (Be sure to read the contest rules.) Yours truly and the team at Guideposts Books make up the panel of judges. I look forward to reading your real life story.
So to help you get started I ask you again, How has God worked in your life?