Narratives are the stories that define what we think and why we think in that particular way. CJ Fox shared this morning about some of the defining narratives he picked up during his lifetime and how they affected the way he lived. He opened with a story about his nine-month old baby, Jude. Jude doesn’t know yet what is good and what is bad for him, so instead of playing with all the plastic, safe toys, he sometimes prefers to play with slobbered on forks around electrical outlets. His point was that sometimes our initial ideas are not quite accurate.
Growing up, CJ experienced several key people in his life leaving. They all left in different ways and under different circumstances, but they all played into the way he started to believe God works in our lives. Each time someone disappeared from his life, it strengthened his original idea that God will walk out on us, too.
CJ said he lived for a long time believing that his relationship with God was comparable to the relationships that were cut out of his life. His dad left his family at the raw age of 2 years old. He said it didn’t affect him as much as it did his older sister, who didn’t cope with the pain until later in her life.
Eventually, a dispute broke out between his sister and his mom, and CJ said his sister left home that day in a cop car. The third person he said he experienced leaving was his grandpa. His grandpa had always been the solidarity of his life and when he died, CJ was upset, to say the least.
The good news of this blog is that CJ didn’t stay mad. At some point in his life, he realized that God wasn’t going to walk out on him or abandon him like he had previously thought. This was a major change in his narrative. His initial idea was that God wasn’t going to be there for him, but he realized later on that He will always be there.
He closed Faith and Learning this morning by advising us to take time to examine our narratives. He challenged us to think about the way we think and to look at the reasons that define the way we act. Remember Jude from the opening story? Sometimes our initial ideas aren’t as accurate as we think.