Many years ago when we had three young children, our family went to Story Book Gardens in London (Canada). It was a lot of fun - until my 5 year old son, Jonathan, disappeared. He was firmly told to stay close by us; but he forgot and wandered away, lured by the exciting attractions. As he meandered through Story Book Gardens he came to the Old Woman in the Shoe who had so many children she didnt know what to do. He knew he wasnt one of her children and didnt belong in that story! So he walked on. He saw Old MacDonalds farm with the sheep, cows, and chickens. He knew he wasnt an animal and didnt belong there! So he walked further. He passed the place of the Three Little Pigs. He knew he didnt belong in that story either!
Meanwhile, I was getting worried. Then I heard an announcement over the loud speaker: Would the mother of Jonathan Eaton please come to the front office. What a relief. I was glad he remembered who he was - and also who he was NOT. Thankfully, he got to the place where someone could help him find us. He knew he would be welcomed back into his family even though he had strayed. We happily received back, forgiven and loved as ever.
In a sense we are all meandering through a giant Story Book Garden. Stories are being enacted all around us. Many arise from fear, anger, guilt, retaliation, and emptiness. They are stories of material accumulation and self-seeking ambition. Those kinds of stories are not ours. They are not the ones Gods people are called to live. Yet they can easily lure us away from home. We belong in Gods family, and our story is Gods story the kingdom of God. We must fervently seek to know this story. Jesus said, Seek FIRST the kingdom of God
If we know who we are and where we belong, we will also know where we do not belong.
Whenever we lose sight of who we are in Gods kingdom, we are prone to wander into the wrong stories. The good news is that there is always a way back. When we realize that we have become caught up in stories which are not ours, we can turn our hearts toward home and once again seek our heavenly Father. He has promised to hear from heaven and receive us back - forgiven and loved as ever. Thats Gods story!
Prayer: Lord, you best understand our ways. Open our eyes to see how we may have become caught up in the wrong stories. We trust you to receive us back to yourself where we belong, in your grand story of redemption and hope.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)