What Is It About Stories?

Our youth group recently had a retreat that I attended, and the retreat was called “Tell Me A Story” and lately I have been thinking about stories. When you watch a movie or read a book, the content and characters really stick to you. Stories can alter our moods; create an atmosphere of cheerfulness, suspense, depression, and sometimes can add a whimsical touch to our day. I began thinking deeply about what it really is about stories that make them so exciting:

What is it about stories? What makes them so fascinating? So relatable? Is it the characters? The conflict? The struggle? The resolution? Why are stories so exciting? Maybe it’s because everyone can find a bit of themselves in every story. A long-lost memory resurfaces; feelings and thoughts verbally communicate to others. What is inspiration? It’s when someone looks at a character and a situation in a story and says, “I want to be like him.” When sentences stimulate the imagination. When one puts oneself into the character, into the situation and thinks about, reenacts the invisible, distant benefits that hang at a graspable height, in one’s mind. Inspiration is motivation to get to a finish line that you can see, a finish line you’d rather be at than the finish line that you stand on now. You kneel, stroke the grass at your feet, glance up and notice that on the other side the grass seems a little bit greener. Can some situations, some dreams be impossible to achieve? Can fiction remain only fiction? Or will the impossible ideas and stories we create only make us stronger? What is it about stories? What is it about vulnerability that gets us? Can we only be kind at the time when we can be the most destructive? At what point do we decide to be a part of the story? Or do we automatically begin thinking, imagining, and feeling from the beginning? What is it about emotions and events in a story? It has nothing to do with us, yet we suddenly feel ourselves living and experiencing another’s story. Is it a story that gives us the opportunity to be someone else? Influence is at it’s strongest when it  is staring at you in the face, not glancing at you over someone else’s shoulder. Do we recognize the need for change and thus become one with the story? What is it about stories?

 

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