Quick Story Before I Dash Off To Class

For some reason I want to write today - to tell nothing deep, nothing stirring, nothing expansive that makes my already large head swell to greater girths. (I'm sorry - that really did sound nicer in my head - looking at it now - not so much) I want to tell a story, but as always happens when I want to tell a story I get befuddled, and feel like - oh how does Wodehouse put it -
"Alf Todd," said Ukridge, soaring to an impressive burst of imagery, "has about as much chance as a one-armed blind man in a dark room trying to shove a pound of melted butter into a wild cat's left ear with a red-hot needle."
And so I'm left "groping in Egyptian-like darkness" trying to dig out a story. And I think this is the mark of the amateur vs the professional storyteller. The Professional can perform, he controls the expression of his art. The amateur has to react to the stories within him. He cannot create a mood and atmosphere for his work - he can enhance - he can increase - but it has to be there. The story almost comes out of his mood, where the evenings fellowship and food has put him. He is relaxed, amongst people he likes or wants to like, the story he shares is a good one - he's told it endless times, each a little different, little unique details are highlighted - and expounded upon. The story grows with the telling, he reacts to his audience, enjoying the smiles, the head shakes, the laughs - connecting with them in ways that he is often to shy to in normal conversation. And the story's are fun to tell - in fact - they are enjoyed most when shared. They are like paintings that need to be looked at, teas that need to be sipped, or meals that need to be savored. Otherwise they are just empty tins, that gather dust, and know that they could hold the world. Seek out the story tellers - the old ones you know - you will bring them so much joy, you will be girded, and built up, they will be refreshed and energized. Let them tell their stories - be that audience for them. I've found that stories - good stories - tend to stick to those that hear them. They stick in odd, out of the way spots, lost and forgotten till one day when you need them they reappear. They can startle you, and comfort you, and convict you. Listen and learn, share and learn, live with those around you. Don't hoard your stories, they are not just for you, in some ways they are bigger, grander, and better than you could ever be. I'm starting to see, to understand - that sometimes - more often than I think I believe - sometimes that - No . . . let me put it another way - how often have I seen or of heard some experience of a friend, of a coworker, an acquaintance and learned something totally different from it than that person. Seeing what happened thru my eyes, thru my understanding, thru my experience - this is not to say that truth is relative, that the facts change depending on where you stand. That is simple "dammed nonsense" to quote Lewis - the truth is truth regardless how you feel about it. Your reaction to truth will be different depending where you stand. A train is coming - one man might move, the other might cover his ears - the train is coming - that is fact, what was different was where they stood in regards to the truth. I learn lessons from what happens in my life, but the things I go thru are not for me alone to learn from. I need to share the truth - A train was coming - I got out of the way. Others may learn something totally different, or apply it in a totally different way. I need to "share the comfort I've received" I need to share the lessons I've learned, I need to tell my stories of warning, my stories of comfort, my stories of affliction, and not just for the audience, not just for you. I need to tell them for me - like I said the story varies with each telling and each time they are told, some new facet glimmers in the light of the Lords truth, and I receive a deeper understanding of Gods grace, and love for me. At the same time the stories would be meaningless if they did not compel me to change what I do, and why I do them. Stories should bring comfort, as well as conviction. Life changing comfort, coupled with life changing conviction. The Lion lies down with the Lamb, I often think that the Lion becomes lamb-like, but this is - and I love how Chesterton puts it
"That is brutal annexation and imperialism on the part of the lamb. That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb."
We forget while the Lion lies down with the Lamb, the Lamb is also lying down with the Lion, what kind of bad-ass Lamb would an equally bad-ass Lion not eat. That comfort and conviction are equals in God's eyes and He will use both to draw us to Himself. (I feel compelled to point out that the whole Lion and Lamb analogy goes way, way, way deeper than my ramblings here)

My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Wow . . . I've rambled on halfway into my ME 414 class, so much for the quick note I guess, no story either . . . I've rambled on far too long . . . and . . . yeah

Have a good day - take a long walk in the autumnal air - listen . . . . don't take the I-pod, don't take a book - turn your cell phone off (unless you're a female in a big city, and if that's the case stay alert, aware of your surroundings)

Read the first part of Colossians . . . . . or don't (it's really good, so savor it)

. . . read the rest of Colossians . . . . . . or don't,

But whatever you do, don't just read it, listen to it, hear the story.

I take that back, even if you are not going to listen to it, read it.


  1. And you are a story teller. Have you ever read "The Place of the Lion" by Charles Williams? I must admit to never having "got it" but your talking about lions and lambs reminded me of it. Why do we always think of the lion being tamed instead of the lamb turning fierce? Interesting thoughts, fun words.

  2. I hadn't ever considered the lamb getting fierce. What an interesting concept. Neil we need to sit and have a deep conversation about! I would love to hear how deep this goes!

  3. why are you still an engineer?

    Neil, I like how you think. You use words well.


  4. Thank you! I hope that I can try to be both an engineer and whatever "this" is.