Posts Tagged ‘Donald McKim’
Recently I applied for entry in an academic program. I had the opportunity to read my college transcripts from a couple decades ago. My shadowy recollection of college was that I started in electrical engineering, didn’t care about the classes (hated them, in fact) but soldiered on because that was the clear path toward economic security—or so I thought. Eventually, the engineering department and I sat down together and had a frank talk. Both of us felt there just might be a better place for me elsewhere at the UW-Madison. That’s when I made the switch to study philosophy and immediately felt like I had come home. Twenty years later, the cold hard facts on the transcript were much worse than I remembered. Yikes!
Subsequent experience and studies helped me understand there are some paths I am meant to walk down, and some I am not. Engineering was not one of those paths. Writing was and has been since. In applying to this particular academic program, I made the case that some of us learn what we’re about later in life. I tried hard not to say “slow learner.”
Whatever part of life we’re in, there’s a story that needs to be told. A story waiting for us to tell it. Where the story starts is not where it ends (I’m thankful for that). And even our retelling of the story makes it stronger, validates it, and causes growth in all sorts of ways in us and in our listeners. The guys who hung around Jesus the Christ told stories of what he did and who he was, especially after he died and came to life again. New Testament writers called them “apostles,” which means “ones sent to act on the authority of another.” (Donald K McKim, Dictionary of Theological Terms) Part of what these apostles did was tell stories. These stories gained traction as time went on and became cultural foundations (as well as personally life-altering for me).
Our communication is and always has been marked by the stories that help us understand our experience of life. Sharing our stories helps us grow.