As I am sure you remember from this previous post, Hannah Ground Herman and I traded places about a month ago. Her words of wisdom and experience were not forgotten by me, and we are trading again today because it really blessed us both to share our personal space and open up our world to the other’s audience. Make sure you read every word of her heart. She consistently lays it all out there. Be encouraged by her dear friends, she is a busy mother of 2 who takes the time to write to you and encourage you in your walk. She is just like me, a woman of God working to sort things out. Give her both your ears, and open up your heart today.
"The following are her beautiful words...
"Books don't change people; paragraphs do, sometimes even sentences."
~ John Piper, A Godward Life
Think back to a really great book you've read. One that somehow altered the way you thought, changed your perspective, shifted your view. Maybe it was so engaging that you devoured it in one sitting. Or maybe you were so absorbed in the idea being developed that you slowly savored each page.
Now, what do you remember from that book? What about it was so meaningful?
In high school, I read the book, The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. The narrative itself was riveting, but if you asked me today, I couldn't recite to you every detail of the story. In fact, I probably would leave out a great majority of the events. It's a single sentence from the preface of the book, before the story even begins, that echoed in my mind while I read it and one that I still hold on to.
A single sentence changed me.
"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives
is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."
~ Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place
But would I have remembered that sentence were it not for the story that followed? Would it have made such an impact if I had not been given an example of it demonstrated in Corrie Ten Boom's life?
Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader feeds fly by fast. There are so many words and so many sentences. I even found the John Piper quote through Twitter! It stuck out to me a couple days ago. I even "re-tweeted" it. It's a good sentence! It's dynamic, it's thought provoking, and it easily fits within the 140 character limit with plenty of wiggle room. But when I looked it up to find the source, I wasn't surprised to find that it was a quote taken from a book filled with sentences. I think the reason that quote makes such an impact is because it carries behind it the weight of many other less "tweetable" words.
Those quotes that concisely verbalize grand ideas to make a difference only do so because the author or speaker spent time and energy honing many experiences down to one point.
"If what we choose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful,
it won't make a life meaningful either"
~ Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller presents the idea that our lives were meant to tell a story. The stories in books are the condensing of life. Stories take all the events, arranges them in a line, and points them in one direction, to reveal the overarching meaning and send a message. So, he asks, what are we pointing to in the story of our lives? Wake up, coffee, work, eat, sleep?
I'm not proposing that we strive to boil our lives down to a 140 character limit. We need the weight of experience to drive those messages. But if we preface our actions with a powerful intent, maybe the circumstances that follow will echo back that message.
When someone hears the story of your life, what single sentence will they be able to hold on to?"
Also, make sure to check out my post on HER page today! The goal of this is to get more people reading both of our words and to touch as many lives as we can through what God is teaching us. I write on being blessed by little things, and what I am looking forward to today. Make sure to check it out!