“The Story of Your Life”
Stories can grab our attention and pull us into their world. They can stir up emotions and even
move us to action. It’s hard to beat a good story. That’s one reason I love to read—even more
than I like to watch movies.
Don’t get me wrong. I really like movies, but they’re so limited. It’s hard to transfer a few hundred pages into a 2-hour movie adequately. There’s too much cutting that must take place.
The story is powerful…and important. I want to spend a little time talking about The Story of Your
Defined, a story is the telling of a happening or connected series of happenings. We
stand at the culmination of one of the happenings in your life—graduation.
Stories have three main parts: the character(s), the plot, and the setting. I want to talk about
each for a few minutes this evening. First, I’ll address the plot, then the setting, and finally, I’ll
touch on the character(s).
The plot is the story itself. Closely related to the plot is the idea of the story–what’s it about.
Whatever form it takes, a challenge will be present.
Therefore, each of you can expect challenges in life. In fact, I’m sure that before this evening
started, you have already experienced some: you’ve faced hurdles; solved a problem or two;
and experienced adventure.
I want you to know that challenges will always be around.
Let’s look at it two ways:
• FIRST—There will be challenges and issues in life; expect them; embrace them.
o It’s amazing how today’s obstacles often prepare you for tomorrow’s opportunities.
o Life will not always go your way. Get used to it. Learn from it. Grow from it.
• SECOND—Life is an adventure.
o, Let’s look at that word for a moment. Adventure is defined as…
– an exciting or very unusual experience
– a bold, usually risky, undertaking with an uncertain outcome
– There are some wonderfully descriptive words in those definitions:
o Life is all of those things…and more.
– Life will be filled with moments of excitement—enjoy them.
– Life will involve the unusual—go with it. Perhaps we can call that a “plot twist.” (i.e., me being
a pastor instead of an attorney)
– Life will ask you to take risks—evaluate them…and then jump in when it’s right.
– Life will be uncertain—expect the unexpected.
Now, let’s consider setting for a few minutes. The setting is where a story takes place. Since our
lives are more like novels than short stories; they will most likely play out in more than one
• (For instance, my story has unfolded from living in only one state, but I’ve visited 38 and 14
• Each of those settings has contributed to my story and helped make me the person I am
You’re in Dallas. Where did you live when you came home from the hospital? Where will you be
this fall? Next year? 2022? 2023?
The setting is critical because some parts of the plot can only unfold in certain settings.
• For example, My son wanted to be on Broadway, well that doesn’t happen in Dallas; he had to
move to NY.
The point is that his “story” could only unfold that way if you change the setting.
Perhaps some of you will be travelers while others may be homebodies. Whatever your makeup, your story will be affected by the setting.
Now, let’s talk about the character in your story. This is the most important part. You see,
without a character, plot and setting mean nothing.
We are here because of your story—your life.
You are the main character.
Right now, it’s all about you (but not after we’re dismissed).
I tend to see characters in two different ways—either deep or shallow. Be a deep person—do all
you can to develop the main character in your story.
• Mentally—whether you’re a right- or left-brain person, develop your mind.
• Physically—take care of your body. Medical science can do a lot of things, but you still only
• Spiritually—submit to God and resolve to live your life for Him.
• Socially—pay attention to the company you keep. After all, we are known by our friends.
Another way to ensure that you aren’t a shallow person is to know the value of the internal and
external parts of life.
• Many people think that the important part of our stories happens to us on the outside.
• However, I submit that the internal story is the more important part. Your external life will
be a mirror of your internal reality.
Please allow me to revisit the passage read before I started:
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your
sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an
offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become
so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your
attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from
you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its
level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
In short, pay attention to your story—the plot, the setting, and the character.
Today, we close one chapter for you. The next begins tomorrow.