You are looking for a story.
Whether you recognize it or not, you were in fact, created for a story and you long for a story to build your life around. Psychologists, philosophers, theologians, scholars, and researchers all agree that we humans look for stories on which to center our lives. We long for a story to give meaning to our lives.
Early in the pandemic, people wondered aloud, “Will fans ever return to stadiums?” Some said college football stadiums would never again be filled, but then LSU beat Ole Miss at home on a Saturday night and the fans who had crammed into the seats rushed the field in a frenzy. Not only did they pack out the stadium post-pandemic, but they flooded the field in their excitement.
Why do we do things like that? Rich Luker, a sports psychologist, says the reason fans do that is that we’re looking to belong. We’re looking for a story. We’re looking to find ourselves a place, a sense of identity, and that’s why we are drawn into being a fan. We rush the field because when our team wins, we feel like we’ve won. Their victory becomes our victory. And when they lose, we have other people we can mourn alongside. We are pulled into the story, the drama, and that’s what we want because we’re all looking for a story.
We also see this desire in the world of business. Story Wars, a popular business book in recent years, says consumers are more likely to buy a product when it fits into a story. That idea has led to marketing professionals going to great lengths to offer the best story so they can sell the most products. They know we are looking for a story.
We see this need in literature as well. Perhaps you’ve heard of Harry Potter? In 2020, there was a podcast released called, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Each episode of this series involves the host bringing a topic to discuss, placing a topic on the table, and then they use the “sacred” text of Harry Potter books to inform their view of that topic. They are essentially allowing the story of Harry Potter to be their authority on all the different issues of their lives. A reviewer of the podcast said, “There are billions around the globe who hold their culture’s holy text so important that they discuss it regularly, learn lessons from the book, and even live their lives based on its teachings. Why not try to do the same with the Boy Who Lived?”
WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY ISYou are looking for a story to be your authority. And what I want to help you see is that the Bible offers itself as the supremely authoritative story. Scripture is actually the greatest story there is and it tells the story you were created for.
Some have viewed Scripture primarily as an instruction manual for life. And yes, there is great wisdom and instruction in God’s Word, but that is not primarily what Scripture is. Some have viewed Scripture as a long list of heroes to emulate. And sure, there are great people to consider in Scripture, but it is not a list of heroes to emulate, because they, just like us, are broken and in need of God’s grace.
The Bible is not a get rich scheme or a business plan for your life. Ultimately, it is God’s story. God wants to know you and God wants you to know Him, so He gave us a story. His story.
Think about when you meet someone for the first time. You’re wanting to get to know them, and they’re wanting to get to know you. What do you do? You lead with a story. You don’t lead with stats. Hi. Nice to meet you. I’m 5’10”. I have hazel eyes. Do you want to see my driver’s license? No, you don’t tell stats; you tell your story. You share where you’re from, your hopes, your dreams. And Scripture is God’s story, declaring that He created you, that He loves you, and that all of us have wandered away from Him. As a result, He sent Jesus to this world to take away our sin and our shame. And, because Jesus is the ultimate hero of the story, we now live our lives in response to Him.
You were created for a story. More specifically, you were created for the biblical story. The Bible is a stunning story, written across 1,500 years by 40 different authors who were directed by God. The Bible is 66 different books telling one thrilling story of God pursuing us for Himself. It is the ultimate story. If you are looking for a story to be your authority, then you’ve found it, because this is the story you were created for.
2 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/harry-potter-and-the-sacred-text/ id1096113994
This article is an excerpt from On the Table, a Bible study from Eric Geiger, Ed Stetzer, and Steve Bang Lee. Download a free sample of On the Table.