So, What’s Your Story?

By Tracy Keenan

September 9, 2016

Could you name five of your most life-defining moments?

When I do Deep Coaching (Enneagram-based spiritual coaching) with people, part of their preparation for the work is to identify things like that. It really makes you think. You might identify pivotal moments or big events: a marriage, a death, a move. You might think of chapters or phases in your story: that blue period or those years of satisfaction.

The bible story is a kind of life story, too, with pivotal moments and themed periods. I’ve been exploring the idea of overlaying our life stories with the story of scripture and seeing where and how things match up. If you think of infanthood as a kind of Eden when everything was provided for you, and one’s end-of-life legacy discernment as a kind of Revelation where everything shakes out as to what was meaningful and what wasn’t, you can see how this overlay can give us a chance to plunge into the bible stories through our own, and vice versa.

We all have times of “before and after,” periods of experiencing wilderness or exile, times of plenty and satisfaction, and times when everything we thought we knew was turned on its head. As we grow, we come to experience God’s presence in different ways, and, as the Apostle Paul puts it, to “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling.”  It’s a connection of stories.

I love knowing that I can find my story in the story of scripture. Last summer on Sabbatical, I wrote six pieces of music that illustrate different pivotal points in life as well as in the bible story as part of a larger project. The idea is to use those pieces to help access the bible story through our own stories and to find the bible story as something that can uncover richer meaning in our own stories. On September 11, we’ll be doing the first piece in worship at 8:30 and 11:00 with the choir and guest instrumentalists. (September 11 is a powerful day to be exploring “before and after.”) On October 2, World Communion Sunday, we’ll have one worship service at 10:00 – Gathering + Sanctuary for one big celebration, and we’ll be doing two more of these new pieces that correspond to storylines ranging from wilderness blues to the joy of encountering a new day.

There are other ways of exploring Story, too. From Sunday mornings to Wednesday bible studies beginning on September 14 at 1:00 and at 7:00 PM, we’ll be starting with Genesis and walking through the juicy and formative stories.  And if you are interested in exploring your own particular story, Katie Kinnison and the Spiritual Development and Adult Learning Commission are doing Spiritual Interviews by appointment – 45-minute sessions where you get to respond to questions about things like defining events in your life.

So. What’s your story?  We invite you to listen to it in a fresh way in the context of God’s story.


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