This is a big weekend for stories.
This afternoon, the biggest advertisers – or at least the ones with a sizable enough marketing budget – will try to tell us a story. Or maybe I should say, they’ll try to sell us a story.
The story they’ll try to sell us is a story about who we should be, or the kind of life we should have … and how their product, be it yogurt or cars or beer or the latest gadget for the home, will help you give your story a happy ending.
Stories are important. They are vital to the way in which we understand ourselves as human beings, and understand the world in which we live. The stories we tell ourselves, the stories that resonate most deeply with us, help shape the way we look at the world.
It’s a commentary on our society that too many of our stories have been reduced to either a 30-second ad spot or 140-character social media post. In an age when the Internet makes sharing stories so much easier than ever before, I feel that perhaps we have not yet quite harnessed the power of the technology for the good of our culture.
Today, I encourage you to pay attention to the stories that others are telling you (or selling you). Listen to the difference between the stories you hear in worship, the stories you read on social media, the stories you see on television.
Choose to surround yourself with stories that matter.
Choose carefully the storytellers to whom you give you attention.
Choose courageously the stories that you will tell to others.
That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again. (from Saving Mr. Banks)