of stories lived out

Our lives are stories lived out. We embody the narratives which trace our history and foreshadow our future, albeit with a certain degree of opaque uncertainty. Yet they are our stories, our lives.

I look back on my experiences as a child. At the time it seemed so normal, so mundane. Indeed much of it was. Playing in the mud. Shooting basketball for hours on end. Trick bicycle riding before the era of helmets and knee pads. Blood, bruises and stories of glory. Hunting and fishing in the wilderness, just me and my fellow sixth grade buddy. Terror of the swimming pool, mostly because of mean kids whom the teachers would never stop from being, well, mean kids. Discovery of hearing loss as a first grader. Abusive behavior of other kids. Condescending adults. Anger. Aloneness. Longing to grow up; vowing never to forget what it was like to be a child. Fear from attackers who threatened to hurt us. Stalkers and prowlers. The large rock through the window. Dad with a gun chasing them away. 38 caliber snub nose, expert marksmanship. Yea, run. Good idea. Grand Canyon, but I don’t remember almost falling off, although it happened. Wonder of Christmas mornings. Soaring imagination. Hard to read as second grader; didn’t like it or want to do it. Later tried to read and found some success; pegged as a delayed reader and put in lower classes. Shame. Worked harder. Pidgeon-holed by peers as someone with less than average intellect. Didn’t understand high school algebra. Teacher didn’t seem to care, enamored as he was by his great learning. Hated school, except for sports and choir. Failed required writing class. F. Didn’t turn in any papers. Didn’t believe I was able to do assignments, five five-page papers. Aced it the following year. Turned in papers and actually tried to do well. School hard, always hard. Still is. Enjoyed small group of friends, but they are gone, living their own lives. Not a child anymore. The story continues. Friends all over the world. Much to be thankful for. Much to remember which I left out above. Much more to become and to do in the years ahead as God allows and directs.

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