Telling a good story is really a work of art. Taking a thread here, weaving into it a thread from over there, over and over repeating the process, and pretty soon, you have a good yarn. Whether humorous or sad, true or fiction, real or not, the making of the narrative is complex. Like any work of art, the reader (or listener) determines the value of the story being told. I’m a sucker for a good tale, saga or anecdote. My uncle Wylie used to tell some of the biggest “cock-and-bull” stories I’ve ever heard. I laughed until my sides hurt, and my mouth wouldn’t quit grinning. His long rambling mannerisms and sayin’s are part of my favorite childhood memories.
I also like reading a good work of fiction from time to time. My two favorite fiction authors are Jeffrey Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme novels), and J. A. Jance (J.P. Beaumont novels) each writing crime stories, but each very distinctly different in their writing styles. A close third for me would be Lee Child, and his hero, the misfit ex-military cop, Jack Reacher. All these books have served me well, for countless hours of decompression from a busy and hectic world, filled with work, and the stuff of life. For a good getaway any of these are fun options.
From a spiritual standpoint, there is one book that has affected and effected my life in a substantial way for many years. Written by Dr. M. R. De Haan, The Chemistry of the Bood is an excellent read, which atheists or agnostics would most certainly call a “yarn.” Dr. De Haan describes the correlation between Scripture and science. In a wonderful exposition of the Bible, where he explains quite well, the mysteries of Jesus being fully divine, while at the same time being fully human. Because the “life” as he points out, is in the blood. Other chapters in the book include, “The Chemistry of Tears, The Chemistry of the Bible, The Chemistry of Man,” and other important truths.
Some of the stories included in the Bible also fall into that category of “yarn” for those who don’t believe it as the Word of God. A 9 foot tall hardened warrior giant, brought down by a stone, cast from a shepherd boy’s sling, come on! The creation of the world in 6 days, come on! The birth of a baby from a virgin, come on! One man’s death covering the sins of all mankind, come on! The same man planning to return to earth, because he was resurrected, and went back to heaven; but now he’s coming again, come on! Then he is going to judge us for not believing any of these yarns, come on!
Well, there it is my friends. The Bible is full of narratives and notes, but for any of them to have an impact in your life, you must believe they are true. You must decide that you will live as though your life depended on them being true. You can’t just read the Bible for the entertainment value of a good story. You can’t just pick and choose the stories you like. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition.
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
God’s word is like a giant tapestry, weaving together the greatest story ever told, by the Master Weaver of thought and communication. In fact, there is another great read which was important in my Doctoral studies at Seminary. Written by Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver describes how every dimension of our lives – from the happy to the tragic to the mundane – is part of a beautiful and purposeful design in which no thread is wrongly woven into its perfect place.
It’s more than a good yarn.
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