The Larger Story – A Metanarrative

John Eldredge

John Eldredge

John Eldredge has done a masterful job in his book Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul He shares how for ten years of his life, he was as an actor and director for the theater. “They were, for the most part, joyful years. I was young and energetic and pretty good at what I did. My wife was part of the theater company I managed, and we had many close friends there… In spite of the fact that my memories of theater are nearly all happy ones, I keep having this recurring nightmare. This is how it goes: I suddenly find myself in a theater – a large, Broadway-style playhouse, the kind every actor aspires to play. The house lights are low and the stage lights full, so from my position onstage I can barely make out the audience, but I sense it is a full house. But I am not loving the moment at all. I am paralyzed with fear. A play is under way, and I’ve got a crucial part. But I have no idea what play it is. I don’t know what part I’m supposed to be playing; I don’t know my lines; I don’t even know my cues.” While Eldredge goes on to make a slightly different application with that story, I see in his story all of our stories. We’re born into this world. We’re thrown out onto the stage. And unless we know the larger story, we have no idea what part we are to play. We don’t know our lines, our cues. This is one of the primary problems in our world. The world has lost the larger story. “Our lives are caught up in what has been called “a tournament of narratives” (Greenslade). We settle for lesser stories to star in – little stories to live for – an affair, a corner office, a better seat, a few more dollars, a little more control and power, a quick buzz, a little more fame. I’m arguing that God has given to us a larger story to live for. All of our smaller stories tie to a larger story – a metanarrative. We have fallen into a story, a sacred story. And if there is a story, there is a Story-Teller (G. K. Chesterton). And if God is the Story-Teller, He must love surprise endings because mankind was created with free will. Create some unexpected and surprise endings of your own!

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