Cure or Story

I love Seth Godin. Philosopher. Business guru. Culture analyst. His writing, his insight is stunning. He has a blog post called “The cure or the story?” In it he says that certain professions (plumber, roofer and electrician) are in the business of fixing problems, of bringing us a cure. (I’m not sure why he didn’t include doctors in there as well, but then he’s smarter than I am.) In contrast, there are others whose job is to bring us into a narrative, to sell us a story. People like consultants, politicians, parents and teachers. They don’t always give us the cure we are searching for. But they give us a way to think about what is going on around us or in us. And it is in the middle of the story that we find we can fix our own problems.

I love this truth. That some of are supposed to be in the story-telling business. But it occurred to me that occasionally we think we are in the fix-it business. We think:

“Come over here and I’ll give you an answer. I’ve got the spiritual and emotional cure here. Just a bit of forgiveness. Just believe more. Just name it and proclaim it. It will all be ok then.”

Well, we don’t think it quite so crassly. Not enough to recognize it. But really, that’s what it gets down to.

The truth is, that we are supposed to be in the story-telling business. And the story we tell is the Jesus Story. The God Story. The one that begins at the beginning and splashes through a pool of cruciform love. It's the one that skids and slides and careens with anticipation toward the future. It’s the Story that countless others have been part of. Barren women and spoiled brats and adulterous kings and greedy priests. And me. And you. Our story is part of that Story. And our story is an invitation for others to find their story in the God Story too. To find the one who writes the Story, meets us in the Story and helps us write our story. I have to remember that I’m not in the fix-it business. I am in the story-telling business.