Liam read me this book the other night:
I’m sure this is a book to help kids start learning about literature genres and plot lines. I am perhaps reading much more into this than the average person. But I’m a kidmin pastor, this is what I do.
The premise is simple. There is a family who lives in a book. At the start of the story, the daughter asks the family a question:
“I know we live in a book, but what is our story?”
A valid question given the circumstances. One by one, each member of the family tells her their story. Each person has a different idea of what their story is about. Dad is a circus clown, Mom is a firefighter, and brother is an astronaut. Even the animals in the story each have a different story.
In frustration, she blurts out:
“What’s MY story?!”
She travels through the rest of the story to find her story. In the end, she finds her way, her story, but she does this on her own apart from the rest of the family.
Does anyone else see a problem here?
Now, I realize this wasn’t the point of the story, but this girl’s adventure made a strong point about the state of family, that it’s OK for each member of the family to have his or her own story apart from each other.
I’m not quite sure this is what family is about. I think family is about working together and writing a collective novel as we enter into the greater story that God is telling in the world.
Sure, I look at my own family and could say that my story is about a children’s pastor and Jenna’s is about a slammin’ stay at home mom. Liam’s could be about the smart boy who grows up to design Lego kits. Elli might be star of a story where she becomes a Prima Donna on the stage. Addi and Taye could each have their own stories as well. After all, we each have gifts and talents that will shape our individual stories. On the other hand, just think about the story our family could tell if we worked towards the same end in mind as if we were each a major player in God’s Big Story.
Imagine that story!
Our kids shouldn’t be left to figure out their place in the Story on their own. As parents, we need to nurture and present our kids with opportunities to discover how God has made them and where He can use them in the world.
I need to ask myself if I’m drawing my family into the bigger story God is trying tell through us. Am I helping my children figure out their place in that Story, or am I leaving them to discover this on their own?
Like the girl in the story, our kids can venture off on their own and discover who they are meant to be. They may discover something wonderful and realize their place in God’s story, or they may find the complete opposite. Let’s take the initiative and invite our kids into the greatest story ever told and live that out together. That story will be a one worth telling .