What’s My Story?

randomlychad  —  May 3, 2012 — 8 Comments

Recently, while I was supposed to be reading Susan Cain’s great book, Quiet, I got sidetracked. And by that I mean at bedtime, I’d been reading through Blue Like Jazz with my wife. As she finds my voice soothing, this helped her sleep.

20120502-230204.jpgBut it perked my mind right up. So much so that I finished my (re)read of BLJ, and moved onto A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Which I’ve read twice before.

On the surface, there are things I can identify with: I’m estranged from my dad, I enjoy cycling (not that I’ve done much–but when I did, I enjoyed it), and I like to tell stories.

This blog exists for that reason: because I enjoy writing words, crafting sentences, and then sharing them. I may be decent at this–heck, I may even be good (I’ll leave that for you, the reader, to judge), but as much as I love sharing stories, re-reading Million Miles has me questioning the quality of the story I’m telling with my life.

Is it a compelling one? Do I spend as much time “crafting” my life as I do my words?

Or is life something that just happens to me?

Seeing the power of social media in action has me thinking: can I use this blog to tell a better story? I think so. As such, I’ve put out in invitation for you to share your stories with me.

Stories of how you’ve felt marginalized in the church.

But the lack of response thus far has been frankly discouraging. I’ve tried to set the tone here, create an atmosphere of honesty, give you a safe place to share.

But I can’t make you care. It’s hard, you know? I felt like this was something I was supposed to do. I even had one of the big name bloggers lined up to guest post, but that fell through (I understand–this person is busy. But it still hurt).

Maybe that’s the problem: I needed this whole “God of the Gaps” thing to convince myself I was living a better story.

To be perfectly candid: maybe that’s why you won’t come onboard–you know something I’m only just becoming aware of:

I’m not living a compelling story.

Admitting that hurts, but it’s true. When it comes down it, I may (or may not) be able to make some of my sentences sing. But what is that to children who want my time, to a wife who needs a listening ear?

I’m almost forty-three, and so much of life happens at the speed of rote: get up, get the kids to school, get to work. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The most alive I feel during the day is the span of time I spend structuring sentences for this blog. (C.S. Lewis wrote, in As the Ruin Falls, “all this is flashy rhetoric about loving You… a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek…”).

I’ve spilled a lot of (digital) ink here…

But what is that compared to living? And am I really, you know, doing it? Am I living?

How about you? Are you merely surviving, or thriving?

PS I would still love for the “God of the Gaps”/”God in the Margins” thing to happen. I want to change the world one story at a time. If you’re with me, my email is Chad Jones Thanks for sharing!




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • Good thoughts, Chad.
    I do love me some D-Mil, though my favorite was, “searching for God knows what.”

    • Thanks, Stephen!

      I need to re-read that one. I’d like to see them turn that bad boy into a movie! 😉

  • Great post Chad -- I agree with you that writing each day helps shape and season this life we live! Good stuff!

    • Thanks, Tor!

      That it does, that it does. Helps us bring some meaning to our lives.

  • Chad, I have this quote taped to my screen. “Attitude is a LITTLE thing that makes a HUGE difference.” Churchill. For me the first step is changing my attitude before I can live a better story.

    • So true, Jim--attitude is just about 90% of everything, isn’t it? Thanks to you (& Sir Winston) for the reminder.

  • I think you discount parts of your story that are old hat to you.

    For instance -- I could not be more impressed with the kind of dad you are given the role model you grew up with.

    That’s a story that’s huge, whether you think so or not. You’re taking a stand and not letting your kids grow up in the Fatherless Generation.

    As for the project -- I really haven’t felt marginalized in the church.

    • Honestly?

      I don’t think I can take credit for that. Suspect it will be an ongoing struggle, as it doesn’t come naturally. But He gives grace.

      And I give God the glory.