Here’s the thing about talking  stories. When I talk with people about our life in the form of a good story, I get stuck inside my head. What did today’s paragraph in my story say? I ran like a wild woman at work? Forgot to eat breakfast? Would it say I’d someday need to learn how to buy groceries like a grown woman so not to eat cereal every meal or just not eat in protest of the inconvenience of it all? I think that’s just the inner dialog… but maybe I do need to revisit that last one.

In all seriousness I near panicked leaving my friends home thinking about the mounting pages of my story; my life. Today I did that meaningless stuff. Oh my heart. I slump into my car and turn on the ignition.

I told God I was sorry, as though this were the first day I’d lived that purposeless life. And of course today is not the first of these days, but I felt  conviction as though it were. While I turn the corner I’d seen a woman hobbling down the road with grocery bags her arms she seemed unwilling to deal with much longer, I figured I should pull a u-turn. Well, for the sake of the story I figured I should turn around. BOOM. Helped an old woman like a legit superhero? Check, and my day is done. That’s when the hopes of a good story led to this shift from head to heart and I just really wanted to get this older lady back home. Conviction stirred soft and bold like maybe my heart had needed the u-turn more than the lady. It was past my bedtime; it must be for her too. I stopped there beside her in the middle of the road and she responded with a simple ‘ok’. And then it would turn out she didn’t speak english, so finger-pointing would need to work, and it did. She got home and I journeyed my way home in thought and in humility… Again.

But it hit me that creating good stories for my life has to do more with the position of my heart than the actions of my hands. Good action can’t just be driven by guilt, and doing good stuff can’t survive because it makes me feel better, or will look good for the books.

It is a dangerous place to find myself doing good because it looks good rather than being generous from a humbled heart at all Christ did, does and will do for me. It’s dangerous as it leads down the strange path of false living. And no one needs to go down that road. No one wants to just look good, or just do good.

So I pulled a few u-turns that night. And I’m just so glad we have a God who gives us opportunity to pull them where we need them. Aren’t you? So while you consider your good life, consider first the position of your heart rather than a checklist of completing good stuff. Because really, it’s when we learn to be ourselves in Christ the truly good and honoring stories come to be.

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