Stories have the power to elevate your life to ever-higher levels or keep you from fulfilling your most important dreams. It has been so since the earliest caveman recorded his stories on the walls of caves. Stories are like containers of different sizes and shapes into which we put our experiences. We use these stories to perceive what is happening to us and organize, simplify and give meaning to life. The problem is our stories may be inaccurate. Facts, information, concepts or events that do not fit readily into our current stories (containers) may be ignored, forgotten as irrelevant, or be distorted unless we are open enough to create or discover new stories capable of holding them. Our current stories also may lack the power needed to motivate our best efforts. Few people are held back by lack of information. Much more common is a lack of powerful stories from which to draw the solid faith upon which great lives are built.
New Ideas Need Room to Grow and Stories to Put Them In.
A centuries old story from India tells of a seeker of wisdom who walked for months to meet and be taught by a great spiritual teacher. Finally arriving, he saw the door of the teacher’s small hut was open and he went in. No one was there, only a table with a pot of tea and two cups. Being thirsty, he poured himself a full cup of tea. At that very instant the spiritual teacher appeared, looked at him, shook his head, and left. The same thing happened for several days. Finally, in desperation, the seeker of wisdom, begged for the spiritual teacher to teach him and not walk away. The spiritual teacher picked up the pot of tea and began pouring tea into the seeker’s already full cup. The tea spilled all over the table and onto the floor. The spiritual teacher then taught this great lesson: Your mind is like this cup of tea. It is already full. You must first empty your mind before anything new can enter. Jesus Christ taught this same lesson: And no one puts a piece of cloth that has not been shrunk on an old garment, for such a patch tears away from the garment and a worse tear is made Neither is new wine put in old wineskins; for if it is, the skins burst and are torn in pieces, and the wine is spilled and the skins are ruined. (Matthew 9:16-17- Amplified Bible)
In order to grow in wisdom and get more out of life, each of us needs to clean and reorganize our story containers. We need to revise or throw out ineffective or inaccurate stories, upgrade the ones we want to keep, and seek out new ones that promise to enrich our lives. An old Jewish tale tells about Truth being unwelcome wherever she went because of her harsh appearance. Parable took pity on her and dressed her in story. Clothed in story, she was now readily welcomed into people’s houses, invited to eat at their table, and warm herself by their fire.
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Copyright 2016 Brent Evans – Learning Success