Much of the time, I think, people define themselves by what they do for a living. In that regard, I will tell you that I am, both by training and calling, a pastor. But, I’m also a professional life development coach for physicians. That’s what I do.
But that’s not how I would actually answer the “Who are you?” question. I am, at my core, a writer of words, and a teller of stories. Yup. That’s me: a storyteller. And as a storyteller, words are very important to me.
If you spend any time at all with me, you’ll hear stories about some experience I’ve had, or some place I’ve been. You will, most certainly learn about my family—my children (we have three sons), my amazing grandchildren (we have six!) and my incredible wife (I only have one of those. 52 years.) You’ll hear stories about all kinds of happenings in my life, because… storyteller: That’s who I am; a storyteller, in a classic state of mind, and the artful pursuit of … what matters most.
There’s a big difference between having a story to tell, however, and actually being a storyteller, have you noticed? Everyone has a story that is unique to them. But not everyone tells their story. Often, believers unfortunately keep their story to themselves, rather than let the world peek over their shoulders to read or hear about their faith journey. I know the challenge. But if I don’t tell my story, if you don’t tell yours? Then, who will hear of the truth we have come to know and understand?
And so, every day, as a writer and a teller-of-stories. I face another blank screen, and blinking cursor. Ah, yes: The curse of the cursor.
What to record?
What to say?
How to notate those faceless ‘expressions’ and smirks of my soul?
I must keep writing, like some living letter. I must tell my stories.
Like some drowning man, flailing in the relentless waves of life’s depths,
If I slip, or falter in my quest to keep telling the story of “me,”
Who will tell of my life?
Who will fill my page? No one, I think.
My journey is mine, alone.
Others may watch as I travel.
Some may even join me on that bus,
Riding toward our common destination, which is, of course, ‘the end of the road.’
But no one — positively and absolutely no one — can tell my story.
For stories must be told from the inside out, and not the outside in.
Maybe that’s why some people never arrive at that place of ‘storyteller.’
If one wants to weave the tale of a storied journey,
There must be a fierce determination to let the essence of that story
Draw its life from deep within; the oxygen of my story must emanate from lungs filled with experiences that are fresh as the breath I just inhaled.
The telling of my story, then, is nothing more than an ‘exhale,’
A spinning and spelling of my living tale, a recounting of the moments of where I’ve been all my life.
A re-counting. Yes, the recollection. The re-collecting, with words, and dreams and “rememberings.”
Living accounts that are numerous enough …
To fill any page of life, and quiet the curse of any blinking cursor.
“… Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.” (2 Cor. 3:3, The Message)