So, there are two big passions in my life (besides exaggeration!)... God and children. Well, when it comes to kids, specifically literacy, although kids are great regardless of the setting. Such innocence and joy and honesty... those are traits I think adults could stand to take a lesson in from children!
I am in love with my Savior. He's my best friend, teacher, Father, the one who loves me longest and best. I love my job. I am also a children's librarian, or as my official title states, "Director of Youth Services" (*gag*) at a public library in the Lehigh Valley. (Kind of scary for a 24 year old!) So what am I doing here? Good question. I guess I'm trying to combine two of my favorite things. One of the things God has impressed upon me both in my relationship with Him and in my profession is the importance of sharing stories. Jesus was a storyteller. He told parables in order to teach.
One God/stories connection and what has helped make the Bible come alive to me is seeing it as a story... not that it's any less real, but rather that all of these smaller books of the Bible are interconnected and provide a big picture view of God. The same God created us, made a covenant promise with His chosen people, redeemed sinful man and will come again. It's not a bunch of random stories, but each fit into a larger story. That knowledge may not be the thing that speaks loudest to you, but it does to me. Another God/stories connection is that I know-- not just in my head, but have learned in my heart as well-- that God gives us our experiences to share with others. Our stories are meant to be shared. They encourage and inspire, they make us vulnerable and hold us accountable. Leonard Sweet says that "the future belongs to the storytellers and connectors". We all have stories. By sharing them, we're making connections to what God is teaching us as well as to other people.
The types of stories that I love the most are bildungsroman. Dorky English major term, but it basically means it's a "coming of age" story. I love stories where a character grows from beginning to end. A lot of young adult novels are like that. (Don't worry, I'll share my favorites to come.) But for starters think of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Frodo's story unravels in that trilogy. It inspires and teaches those who hear it. And like many stories in the bildingsroman genre, it also illustrates a important aspect of life... particularly to the Christian life. We are meant to lean on and learn from others on this journey. We are not meant to go this alone. We need a fellowship... a support system, friends, accountability partners, whatever you want to call it. Iron sharpens iron. Life is meant to be shared. Stories are a way to share. And more important than that, life is meant to glorify God. We can glorify Him in our stories by sharing with others how He is revealing Himself to us.
So I guess that's what I want to do. Share things God's teaching me. Share great stories I've read (not trying to sell them, but I will "sell" them ;)). Because when it comes down to it, reading is cool. And God's coolest. If you only like good books and don't know God or love God and don't read, well, I don't know what you'll find, but feel free to take what you will, make comments/share your thoughts, or stop reading ;)
That's good enough for the first post!