There are different stories which affect our lives. These are stories of others that elicit every kind of emotion, both good and bad. Their effects, however, whether good or bad, are entirely up to us.
We draw inspiration from people who have been successful in life. We get strength from those who overcame challenges. “Rags to riches” theme is a favorite. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether the story is truth or fiction. Whether of a past or present leader, actor, businessman, or characters in a movie or “telenovela”, encouraging narratives just lift us up.. at least for a time. Until we create our stories based on theirs. And take for granted our uniqueness and strengths. Fear, anxiety, self-pity can set in.
We follow stories (whether intentional or not) of people we know. During these times when you can instantly get updates from Facebook, instagram, or your neighbor (gossip Ninang?), knowing the lives of people has become the business of many. Latest fashion, best places to go, food to die for (please don’t), waistlines (by deduction, and from their newest fitness regimen), recent conquest (partner or spouse), achievements, and challenges flood the Internet. We can be sincerely happy or concerned. We can be envious or annoyed. Some just ignore and move on (pa-like naman!).
Some people mind our story (sikat Ninang!). Showing (nope, not showing off) our stories allow people to look at our lives. They can be happy or concerned. They can be envious or annoyed. And a few just can’t ignore and move on. And in their ways (and words) they dictate how we should feel about our own stories– like there’s always something lacking, or something else to aspire for, something we did wrong, or better things to put our money in (They may actually have a point Ninang. “You have a point.”) Let me just say this, you cannot impose your standards on other people, unless they willingly agreed to yours (a.k.a. Employees, trainees, students). You do not know what happens behind the scene, or the entire story. Stop judging from your limited view. Encourage others (they heard you the first time), but impose only on yourself. I’m talking to myself (hmmmm.. Are you sure Ninang?).
Some people try to create tales about us (Or we create tales about others). Do not allow their assumption (or our assumptions of their assumptions of our reality–Again, Ninang?) to decide who we should be. Otherwise, we will become paranoid, sociophobic, or worse, people pleasers. Ignore lies and move on. We should move forward from both our stories of success and failures, whether truth or fiction.
MIND YOUR STORY
Let’s mind our Story more than anyone else’s. And this, not to show (or show off) what you can do and what you have, more than to be thankful for them (#gratefulbrag Ninang? “Always be Grateful..period”). Get your focus out of anybody else’s life. It will only make you proud, depressed, bitter or a controlling person. Get your focus out of anybody else’s thoughts. People have their own concerns, most probably similar to yours. If they judge you, they will be judged in the same way (it’s in the bible! Leave it to God.). Mind your own story. And this, not to take or receive, but by God’s grace, to work for what you need, share what you have more of, and be grateful in all you have and can do.
In all these, do not forget HiS STORY. It’s only God’s Story, the story of the greatest love and sacrifice, which can give the happy ending to the tales of our lives. It is His Story that can transform a mundane life to one of significance. His Story unfolding into ours will enable us to rise above our past, be confident in our present, direct our future, and give meaning to any seemingly banal activity. His Story weaves all ours, and gives us our happily ever after.
In the End, it’s what we learned, believed, accepted, and applied in HiS Story (the story of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ), which only matters.
— Ninang thoughts after reading so many stories on Facebook, including my own..
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)
“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.”
(1 Corinthians 15:1-5)
The gospel is the good news that God became man in Jesus Christ; He lived the life we should have lived (by keeping the moral law) and died the death we should have died (for breaking that law)- in our place. Three days later, He rose from the dead, proving He is the Son of God and offering (forgiveness of sins and) salvation to anyone who turns and trusts Him as their Lord and Savior.” – Dr. Rice Broocks (co-founder of Every Nation Ministries).