Who Tells Your Story?

Gratitude Day 231

Fri., Mar. 15, 2019

Psalm 107:2 – Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

“Who tells your story?”

Hamilton

This is the closing line from the musical, Hamilton, sung by his wife, Eliza Hamilton. Hamilton has been killed. Eliza asks the question, “Who tells your story?” As I listened to them sung over and over, they struck a chord with me.

 

This week, Hubby Rick and I took the train to Chicago and went to a production of Hamilton. I’ve been yearning to see Hamilton, based on the excellent reviews people had shared. While attending Hamilton felt like an extravagance, we planned a 24-hour get-away to do so.

Attending musicals is NOT Rick’s first choice. But he humored me and was willing to make a deposit into my love bank by going to the show. As we walked back to the hotel after the show, he admitted this was the best musical he has ever seen.

Hamilton is based on the life of Adam Hamilton. I must have missed the day is U.S. history class that we covered Adam Hamilton, because honestly, I do not remember much of the storyline the show portrayed. Adam is portrayed as not always being politically correct in what he said and how he said it. He felt like he was often undervalued and appreciated and struggled with what his legacy would be. During the Revolutionary War, Adam was part of George Washington’s staff but not part of the action until the end. He became instrumental in establishing the design of the U.S. government. The musical says he brokered a deal with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to get the major players on the same page.

In the end, one of Adam’s early friends, Aaron Burr, betrayed Adam. At a dual, Aaron kills Adam. This event is even more significant, in that Adam’s son was earlier killed in a dual.

As the show is finishing, the cast sing, “Who tells your story?” Caught up in wanting to have a legacy in which he would be remembered, Adam questioned his ability to write his story. Now, this same theme is projected back unto those of us who watched the highly choreographed production.

Who tells your story? It is core question for each of us. How we answer this question is influenced by our theology about life and choice. Personally, I feel that God provides an interpretation of our lives. But I also feel that we have lots of choice in how we live out the decisions that we make every day. Maybe another way to view how I see this? God paints the broad-brush strokes. We paint the details.

During this journey of life, we often get caught up in plodding along, doing the same things day after day. Sometimes, we connect these events to the greater scope of our lives. Sometimes, we get so caught up in day-to-day things that we forget how our daily decisions tie into our grandeur lives.

We have but one life. We only go around this horn once. Yes, there are certain events that have great influence in our lives. I can’t control that I grew up in the Midwest on a small dairy farm which instilled in me traditional Midwest values. What I can control is how I live these today. I choose how I live faith in my daily life. I choose what excites me and what drags me down. I choose the values that are most important to me and how I incorporate them into my daily living.

I’m not sure if the writer of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, intended for all of this to be part of the take-aways from Hamilton. But it was my takeaway. As Rick and I walked back to our hotel, we passed many people who are living a very different lifestyle than I am. I wondered to myself who is telling their story. Are we willing to look inside of ourselves and answer the difficult questions … or do we just keep plodding along day after day?

Our return train was delayed 5+ hours because of mechanical issues. As we sat at the train station waiting for the train to be repaired, I asked Rick, “What is our take-away from having to wait for so many hours?” His response: “Plan extra time when taking Amtrak.” (Unfortunately, our train into Chicago was also two hours late.)

Who tells your story? When things happen outside of our control, i.e. – mechanical issues on the train, how do we respond? Do we become frustrated and angry or do we take things in stride? I’m not sure God intended for the train to have issues. I think this is more a situation of sometimes challenging things just happening.

What I do know is that I want to make sure God is a part of my journey. I pray that I include God on the important decisions and am guided by God’s Spirit and wisdom daily. I want God to be as much of an author of my story as I am myself. I pray that sometimes, I hear God’s leadings in my life and actually follow them. When the opportunity arises for me to help tell someone else’s story, I pray that I grasp this opportunity.

For a meaningful opportunity to re-examine who tells my story, I am grateful.

Almighty God – Thank you for being such an important part of my life story. I pray our daily interactions provide the broad brush-strokes that you desire for me to see. And as I fill in with the details, may they be influenced by your Spirit.  Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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