“Humans are storytellers, meaning-makers, and pattern-tracers. Even before we learn to count we are constantly putting two and two together, tying episodes together into the daisy-chain cause-and-effect sequences we know as stories. We hear songs on the radio and pull them into the soundtrack of our lives by associating them with struggles and scenes from our adventures. We watch films and overwrite the screenplays with our own: we see ourselves as the hero; that actress or actor is my old girlfriend or boyfriend. Man does not live by bread alone, but by stories. And each story leads to another as the mind seeks to interpret, connect, and harmonize each new story into that single masterpiece we will author, consciousness’s magnum opus, every soul’s work, the Song of Myself… Believers imagine that a divine Listener hears this latter story. The task of theology is the linking of our individual story to the biggest story we can imagine.”
– Gregory Mobley – The Return of the Chaos Monsters – And Other Backstories of the Bible (6)
One thought on “Storytellers, Meaning-Makers, and Pattern-Tracers”
“Man does not live by bread alone, but by stories.”
Great post Michelle!
When I have walked some ordinands through their ordination process I have asked them, “When you stand before you congregation on Sunday mornings, how many audiences do you see?”
I asked that question of the congregation I serve a while back in a sermon and told them I saw 50 audiences!
Each audience has a story and when I stand before them on any given Sunday your post reminds me that they are in the middle of one story, perhaps beginning a new story elsewhere, and ending a story in their life some other place.