Last Sunday a good brother got up to speak about . . . honestly I can’t remember what his gospel topic was, but I remember the story he began with:
When John was a little boy, his mother shooed the kids out the back of the house while she showed it to potential buyers. One afternoon he was charged to keep his younger brother and sisters in line while a particularly great prospect came by. John used his new pocketknife to whittle a spear. His younger brother Tim wanted a chance throwing the spear, but John convinced him that playing spear-boy, retrieving big brother’s throws, would be just as fun.
It was fun for several minutes, until John grew tired of seeing how far he could throw and aimed instead for how high he could throw. He forgot, however, to warn Tim that he was throwing up, and, as Tim raced to where the spear should land, it struck him on the head. He ran to and fro, hollerin’, the spear flopping back and forth like a bobblehead on a taxicab dashboard.
John tried to shush him and yanked out the spear himself, but the sisters heard, the mother heard, and seven stitches, one “barely noticeable” scar, and thirty years later, John’s brother has “completely forgiven” him.
The point is — story is everything. As soon as that good brother finished his story and moved on to some doctrinal explication of (forgiveness?) (choosing the right?) (listening to promptings of the Holy Ghost?), the audience as a whole sat back, turned to chat (quietly) to their neighbors, and started thinking about all the things that needed doing as soon as church was over.
My other point is, go see the movie Australia. I’m a big Baz Luhrmann (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge) fan anyway, and even if you didn’t enjoy those, you will enjoy Australia. It’s got romance, adventure, Hugh Jackman, lovely music, gorgeous lush lighting and scenery, Nicole Kidman, and HUGH JACKMAN.
And, it’s got story.
As the Drover says, all of your possessions can be taken from you, and in the end, all that you really own is your story. Australia is a great story, not least because it encourages me to find, tell, write, rewrite, discover, share, never give up on, fight for, defend, live my story.
p.s. Happy Thanksgiving. I hope, if you’ve read this website for any length of time, that you know what I’m thankful for. If you have no idea, then I’ve done a very poor job of expressing what is in my heart. (And if I haven’t said it before, I AM THANKFUL for readers who stop by for a little part of my story).