Monday, October 14, 2013

Tell me a story

Are you a good story teller?  Your kids can probably answer that better than anyone else, especially if you read to them a lot.  I'm going to take a shot at telling a story today, and you can decide if I am a good story teller.....or not. 

My story goes a long way back to my high school days, and during my senior year, I was the Drum Major of the band.  We had an impressive half-time show which we had rehearsed and polished at all our practices.  The show featured our three twirlers who, with the stadium lights turned off, would twirl fire batons while the band stood in formation and played a Sousa march. We were all very proud of the show and had performed that half-time routine twice in our home stadium without a hitch. 

Our upcoming game was in another city and everyone in the band wanted to take our special fire baton show on the road.  Our band director had made all the arrangements with the stadium personnel just to make sure the lights went out when they were supposed to, and were turned back on immediately at the end of the routine. 

I had received instructions from the band director as well.  He told me the fire baton routine was the final part of our show, so I must immediately blow the whistle for the cadence to begin, and the band would march off the field in formation. 

We had practiced long and hard that week. All the planning had been done. The show went over well with the home crowd in the town we were visiting.  Then, there was a problem. The fire baton routine ended and I blew the whistle to start the band marching off the field......but the lights didn't come back on.  Nobody told us the lights in that stadium require about 30 seconds to illuminate, after they are switched on.  When those lights finally did come on, the entire band had been marching blindly in the dark for half a minute. Nothing resembled a straight line. About half the band was out of step. Rather than the organized, military style of marching, everyone was wandering aimlessly in every direction imaginable.  I was embarrassed, knowing there was no second chance to do it right. The crowd was roaring with laughter. We later learned they thought it was a comedy ending for the show, and we certainly weren't going to tell them any different. 

I think you now know that story, detail by detail, but what I really want you to know is how easy it is to re-tell a story.  Do you remember the story of creation which you learned when you were young?   Wouldn't that be a wonderful story to tell you children and grandchildren?

I think also of the stories about Joseph and his colorful coat, of Sampson and his tremendous strength, and, of course, Jonah in the belly of that huge fish.  Young folks today are hungry for stories like those. Familiarize yourself again with them and be ready to share them. 

Then I think of the story of Jesus, his teachings, his encounters with people, his leading of the disciples, and his death, burial and resurrection. Our world needs that story told and re-told.  We need the refreshing good news of the Gospel being shared with everyone we know.  Remember the song, "Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word."


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