The Two Word Story
Let me tell you a story… Nothing happens.
Can you imagine someone seriously sitting you down, piquing your curiosity, then completely letting you down with those words?
In order to have a story, something–anything–has to happen. Even terrible or pretentious storytellers with boring stories have the sense to tell stories in which something happens.
I’m more convinced than ever we need an expanding and deepening experience with God’s love. Without His love, the story of our lives in view of eternity can be summed up with those sad two words…
Brennan Manning wrote in the Furious Longing of God,
“Until the love of God that knows no boundary, limit, or breaking point is internalized through personal decision; until the furious longing of God seizes the imagination; until the heart is conjoined to the mind through sheer grace, nothing happens”
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 makes this clear. Two servants used what their master had given and produced more. The third buried the talent and waited for the master’s return.
Two were praised and told, “well done.” One was told, “depart from me.”
Fear had robbed him of any sense of responsibility. He reasoned his master was a hard man and shrewd. Interesting, we see things happening and yes, there are details to the story, but again, in an eternal view, “nothing happened.”
You may be stuck in an endless cycle of activity and fruitless wandering. There are details and you’re filling in every blank you can, but the heart f the story is missing.
Knowing the love of God, encountering that divine love makes things happen. The story changes from trying to earn approval and even trying to do good for others into a response to the love relationship demonstrated through the continuing life of Jesus.
In reality, His love is the story. We are simply invited into it. I want to be so enveloped in the love of God, so radiating this life, that people around can’t help but notice something different. They would see that in a moment, they were drawn into a greater love, the Father’s, and they would be astounded to proclaim, “something happened.”
Guilt, shame, sense of duty–none of it motivates effectively, at least not in the long term. Only the love of God, the very essence of His nature, will link us and others to the eternal perspective.
He loved so much, He gave. He loved so much, He died. He loved so much, He abides with us and calls us into union.
That’s a story I want to read, one I want to be a part of.
What are your thoughts?
Welcome to week 5 of our book club discussion of the Furious Longing of God (disclosure) by Brennan Manning. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for the widget and another great take. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please share your thoughts! We always appreciate a vibrant conversation.