Our lives are full of events; things happen. We live with them daily. Events have a beginning, a complication, and then a conclusion of some sort. Then we proceed to our next life event.
In fact our lives are not only a series of events, but also a series of overlapping events. For example, we have an event concerning our aging parents during the same timeframe as the appeal to the county appraiser’s office, which happened the day before the fire down the street, and after the hot water tank gave out, and so on. Because of this swirl of events, it’s often difficult to see any meaning or purpose in life. After all events, and life, often appear jumbled and random.
Perhaps this is why we are so attracted to stories. By the power of story, we are able to separate the events and then consider them both individually and within context. Stories allow us to chart the complications of life and see their resolution. They allow us to see that events, though perhaps jumbled, are not disjointed. And though they appear to be random, they are not pointless.
And though events often bounce off one another then spin in unpredictable directions, or so they seem, stories suggest that perhaps we don’t live in a random, accidental world. There is a progression to life, and there is meaning.
This is what story gives us, the power to apprehend meaning in the swirl of life. And perhaps that’s why mankind’s love for story is never ending.
So how do you see your swirl of events? Is your life a story?