Thursday, January 7, 2016

Story Power

Think of your favorite movies and books.
Have a few? Good. Now think of a favorite sermon or Sunday School lesson.
Hmm…a bit harder, isn’t it? You came up with one? You’re doing better than I am. But now let me ask you another question: what was so memorable about it? I bet you just launched into or started describing a story.
Whether factual or fictional, story is how we remember, isn’t it? We hear a sermon, and we remember the funny story the pastor told. We go to Sunday School, and we remember the teacher’s goofy hat—giving us a great story to tell. We read an article; we remember the anecdote. We have a lesson hit home hard, and there’s a story about the surrounding circumstances.
How even more memorable are the stories we read and watch! There’s just something so powerful, so mysterious about the way a character we’ve never met grabs our attention and drags us on a journey that few ever want to experience in reality. And for a couple hours, we don’t only sympathize with these imaginary people, we are them—seeing what they see, experiencing what they experience, feeling what they feel—until their story becomes part of our story and their memories, our memories. Then the best ones imbed themselves—and their stories—into our hearts forever.
Don’t believe me? Ask your friends after church what the sermon they just heard was about. Then ask them what happened on their favorite television show last week. Which one was longer?

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