Shades of gray along the way

By Dave Henning / June 19, 2019

“Within each narrative there are almost always shades of gray along the way.  And it’s important to name those too.  That’s what makes it a narrative and not just a moment. . . .  a story and not just a plot point.  That’s what makes it a life.”- Emily P. Freeman

Emily P. Freeman concludes Chapter 3 of The Next Right Thing as she stresses that we give little thought to our narratives.  Instead, we allow time to roll into itself.  Day after week after year.  As a result, it’s only when we look back that we realize our story has changed.  Thus, we need to take a moment to notice the narrative and open it up to the presence of God.  As we allow God to be with us, He provides the peace of His presence.

Furthermore, Emily cautions against rushing to joy when you feel stuck in a hopeless place.  Perhaps you need to spend some time letting the darkness nourish, strengthen, and hold you.  A seed buried in the ground eventually breaks open and takes root.  Hence, that seed carries a narrative of hope.  Also, the seed still needs to live into the whole story.

Finally, Emily exhorts, remember that today constitutes a plot point.  When you honestly see today for what it is, you won’t confuse the moment for the whole story.  In addition, when you name something, don’t force a definition, as the author explains:

“If you take time to name something that has remained unnamed within you . . . resist the urge to grab and go.  Instead, give that name space to rise up and take shape.  Then get curious about it.  Hold it in the presence of Jesus.  Ask him for direction and wisdom.  Let yourself be a gatherer of information when it comes to what’s happening beneath the surface.  Name it, but don’t force a definition.”

Today’s question: What shades of gray do you find along the way in your narrative?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “False narratives about God – the need to confront”

About the author

Dave Henning

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