Everybody loves a great story.
A good story has characters: bad guys, good guys, and, of course, the hero. And a theme we connect with, such as, “Will evil triumph, or can good prevail?” To make the story work, we need drama: when trouble comes, what will the hero do, and where will help come from?
Good stories draw us in, making us part of the action, at least for a while. But, the best ones do more than that; they connect us to ideas and concepts bigger than the story itself.
They help us find our role in the Larger Story of life.
I love the movie The Lord of the Rings. It is based on the series by J.R.R. Tolkien which is the second best-selling fiction book of all time with over 150 million copies sold.
It portrays a sweeping saga of the battle between Good and Evil ranging across the lands of Middle-earth. The plot is summarized in the trailer of the first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Take a few moments now to watch that movie clip here: The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Fate has chosen him – The hero is an unsuspecting one, a hobbit named Frodo Baggins, who undertakes the quest to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.
- This task was appointed to you; if you do not find the way, no one will. – The elf queen Galadriel speaks these words to Frodo calling him to his role in the story. Now, the fate of the world lies in the hands of the most unlikely hero imaginable.
- Evil will hunt them – The Dark Lord Sauron seeks to enslave the world and cover the land in darkness and is in relentless pursuit of Frodo and the One Ring he is bearing.
- A fellowship will protect him – Frodo knows, “I cannot do this alone.” He is joined on his quest by a group of friends ready to fight to protect him from the evil seeking to destroy him.
Our Role in the Larger Story
We are part of a Larger Story. There is something out there bigger than us, a purpose to our existence and meaning to the struggle. There is a Divine Author to that Larger Story, a fact both wondrous and inspiring if we but pause to contemplate it.
There are both good and evil in this story and, at times, we may not feel sure which will prevail. This drama unfolds one scene and one day at a time in each of our lives.
Each of us is part of that story. And, whether we realize it or not, we are in a battle. This Larger Story is different than The Lord of the Rings in that the Enemy does not fight in open combat with armies of orcs and trolls. Instead, Evil uses guerilla warfare to take us out of the fight with sin or addiction, or to wound us with weapons of fear, worry, anger, selfishness, comfort, or distraction.
There is another difference in this Larger Story—we have God in our Fellowship, and He has armor that can keep us safe and powerful armies to fight for us.
Going into Battle
This weekend, I am going into battle. My wife is doing the same in 2 weeks.
- God has chosen you for His Larger Story.
- God has given you a part to play; if you do not find a way, no one will.
- Evil is hunting you.
- A fellowship desires to protect you and propel you into the Larger Story.
The Larger Story is real. There is an Enemy, but there are those who will fight for us as well. We have been given a part to play, and if we do not find a way, no one will.
How will our drama play out? When trouble comes, what will we do? Will we find a way?
Those are questions we all face, because each of of us has a role in the Larger Story. Including you.
Question: How can you go about finding your role in the Larger Story?
Action: Write down your view of the characters, theme, and drama of the Larger Story.