It’s really easy to get stuck in the small story of your life. But God has a larger story for you to live out, and He wants you to play a very important part in that story. The Christian life isn’t just about your personal plan for how to live; it’s about a whole lot more than that.
How do you get from the small story to the large one, and how can you find out what your role is? Read on to find out!
What Is the Small Story?
When we refer to living in the “small story,” we mean living in the right now with no regard for anything outside of the scope of your immediate existence.
For example, let’s say you wake up one morning and realize you’re probably going to be late for work. In that moment, all that matters is your lateness. You become frantic as you search for clothes to wear. You panic as you tear the house apart looking for your car keys. Your entire existence has temporarily been reduced to this one circumstance: you are late, and you have failed.
What Is the Large Story?
When we live in the “large story,” it doesn’t mean we don’t have frustrations or we never feel like we have failed. Those feelings will never fully go away until we die and are present with Christ! But we can teach ourselves to live in the large story by shifting our focus from the right now to the whole picture.
Let’s go back to that moment again, the one where you wake up and realize you’re going to be late for work. Feelings of failure and panic are probably your first reaction, but after that, you have a choice: you can stay in the small story of your lateness, your franticness, and your certainty that this situation is all that matters right now; or you can shift your focus to the large story.
Yes, you’re running late. Does God love you any less? Of course not.
If your boss gets upset with you for your lateness and condemns you even after you have apologized — if he or she makes you feel like the smallest of the smallest bugs for making a mistake — does that change your value as a human being created by God? Not even a little.
Could there be a reason you are running late? Sure. Maybe God has someone He needs you to talk to, and you won’t run into them unless you come into the office at a certain time. Or perhaps your boss, beneath all those harsh words, is watching your humility and your repentance, and wondering how in the world you can have such peace when you are being berated for your tardiness.
Choosing the Large Story in the Christian Life
Living in the large story means removing yourself from the right now and taking in the whole picture from an overhead perspective. It means resting in the fact that you are an adopted child of God, and as such, there is no person on this planet who can diminish your value.
There’s also nothing you can do to diminish your own value. You have been bought by the King of the universe with His own life. That is where you get your worth — in His love for you. You cannot fail enough times, or in enough ways, to make Him stop loving you.
And when you stop and look around, or when you stop and let Him talk to you, you will start to see how many people He places in your path. You will start to realize how many times He coordinates things in such a way that you have opportunities you never would have had if everything had gone according to your plan.
The story is a lot bigger than we think it is. Let’s start living in the large story by focusing on God’s love and purposes for us!