the storied life...

I heard a phrase that intrigued me a couple days ago. "so-and-so had a storied life." I don't know why it caused pause inside me, but I sat there wondering, first, if it was even a word. Secondly, I wondered how someone could have been so brilliant as to turn that beautiful noun into such a rivoting adjective. When being described, I hope that "storied" would be one of the adjectives that came to someone's lips.

There are few things, in my opinion, so transformational to the way someone shows up in life as the beautiful realization that one is living out a unique and, yet, universal story. The very moment that truth sinks into the core of your being, you wake to a new world and live a new gospel. Life suddenly makes a kind of sense that it hadn't up to that point in time. Your eyes are wider; your heart more poised. I can honestly say that the single most life-altering message I ever absorbed was this simple and profound truth. That life is a story and I am but a character in the story. I am writing new words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters every day of my life. I choose the adjectives to describe and be described by. I place the verbs in sentences revealing my actions. I live out the subject that gives something for the rest of the sentence to hinge to with supplemental support. I decide on the body of the plot and where the storyline leads or fails to lead. I, and I alone, suffer from writers block and writers cramp prohibiting the story from moving forward and, thus, moving people. Life is a piece of poetry, and I have the honor to contribute a verse. (loose translation of Deat Poet's society) Again, when this revelation hits you in the bowels (the deepest places), you can't help but being swept away into another kind of living, a fresher kind based on my experience.

I suffer from the same disease that plagues all humans which is to turn life into a prosaic program of events filled with robotic people fulfilling obligatory functions. Life is field dressed like a downed deer and the vitals are removed leaving but an empty shell of what used to be. The chest cavity that used to pulsate with life is gutted and left for dead. This is our story when we lose the storied life.

It is possible to live an unstoried life. This is a life that fails to live out the natural components of a great story. What are these natural themes that we gravitate to when we think of a great story?...

1. Adventure - Is my life pressing to the outer edges leaving me in a state of suspence? Do I feel a rush as I venture into places that put me face to face with the unknown? Do I take the road less travelled just to appease my curiosity of what might-be-if-only?

2. Risk - Am I a person that gravitates to the sure-thing. Is a risk-free approach to life causing me to only pursue what it is that I know won't hurt me. Am I willing to try something new risking failure in order to achieve grandeur?

3. Danger - Do I run toward the roar or am I always cowering away when things get dicey? Do I respond to crises with strength or do I wilt when things start to unravel?

4. Beauty - Am I a person that exalts the beauty of life to those who brush up against me? Am I a person that causes others to feel refreshed with the luscious goodness of life?

5. Romance - Am I a romantic at heart causing others to look at love with a purity and potency that restores the created wonder of the heart? Do I love my wife and daughters with the kind of affection that causes them to be the radiant females that they are? Does my treatment of them cause them to open like a flower?

6. Language - Does my communication bring life, nuetrality or death? Am I moving people to appreciate speech and the power of the written and spoken word? Do people find themselves appreciating the subtle nuances of life more because of the kind of storyteller I am?

7. Heroism - Do I rise up and respond valiantly when life requires a heart to engage and intervene? Am I thought of as a man of true strength and fierce love? Have I proved myself to be a man of strength in the midst of trial? Have a saved anyone's life with mine?

8. Sacrifice - Do I come against the flow of my flesh by living a counterintuitive life? Do I run toward things that are life or death, sink or swim, do or die? Am I a person that is known to lay down my life for what I believe in?

9. Friendship - Do I have intimate allies that I live with and fight for? Am I entering people's stories at the heart level calling out their glory? Is there small band of friends that I laugh with, cry with, talk with and dream with? Am I paralyzed and powerless without kindred souls?

10. Battle - Do I demonstrate the heart of a warrior as life crashes in around me? Do I have what it takes when unexpected opposition tests my strength? Am I known as a person who fights for the values of the kingdom with a tireless passion and a diehard devotion? Do I give up easily or do I have more fight left in me when others are losing heart?

11. Dreams - Do I live out of the vision in my heart with reckless abandon? Do I give due diligence to protect and handle my dreams with great care knowing that a life without a dream is like a body without a spirit? Do others find their own dreams coming alive in my presence?

12. Passion - Do I inspire people to live with greater urgency? Does my emotion cause others to seize each moment of life as if it was their last? Does my zeal lead others to feel stirred at the deepest places in their soul? Is my life attractive or forgettable?

I'm sure there are other themes that make up a "storied" life...but these are several that seem to surface in my own soul. When you're not sure whether you're living a "storied" life, you're probably not.


DanielSon said…
Hey bro, I love your passion and creative mind. Its true we must all aspire to put on the greatest show the world has ever seen and be ready for nobody to applaud but God Himself... Love your heart man. Ill get another blog up here sooner or later.
Anonymous said…
Please please please pray for me; that I would get this through my thick head and heart. My wife has been unfaithful to me again because I failed to learn these lessons. I want her to know I love her. Too often she asks why I love her and I have the lamest reaponses. i DO love her. i DO forgive her. I have been sorely and harshly reminded that I failed to live up to Gods standard of being a husband and father. This post is exactly where Im at and have been stuck in for the past 5 years. Please pray for me and my wife...Anthony

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