Engaging is a challenging word to wrap our minds and actions around. Do you know what it really means? Some synonyms for engaging are: appealing, attractive, pretty, delightful, lovely, pleasing, pleasant, agreeable, likable, winsome, enchanting, captivating. Which one of us wouldn’t want to be described with all of those words, or in my case maybe just a couple! Merriam Webster’s simple definition of engaging is – “attractive or interesting”. Do you think of yourself as engaging? If so, how so? If not, why not?
Each one of us has a story that is uniquely ours and ours alone. While I may not perceive my story to be engaging, attractive or interesting the one thing about my life story is that it is MY life story. No one can write it for me, no one can live it for me and no one can tell it like I can tell it. You see – stories are so very powerful – especially our personal ones. Taking the time to share your life story with others and learn the life stories of others is a very engaging experience!
I remember the stories Grampa Joe told about growing up on the farm in New Mexico and running across his yard getting pelted by baseball size hail. I remember the stories my mom told of raising chickens on her farm growing up and having to wash their eggs on her birthday (the day after Christmas). I remember the stories my friend Anthony told me growing up in Ghana, West Africa about jumping from a moving train in order to get home faster. I remember my own stories of rock climbing for the first time, attending my first bible retreat in the mountains of Colorado and holding my wife and new born daughter in my arms just minutes after she was born!
Jesus life stories are recorded for us in the Bible – check out what Mathew, Mark, Luke and John have to say about him. Each story, each conversation, each experience in Jesus life is a moment of engagement – as attractive and interesting as your very own life story. Try engaging today. Try being a bit more interesting, attractive, appealing or captivating this week. Listen to your neighbors dreams. Ask your son or daughter or mother or father the most interesting story they can remember from their life so far. Share a memory, a joy, a struggle or a challenge you may be facing with someone you don’t normally talk to – at work or school, on the bus or in your neighborhood. See what happens!
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables (stories)… (Matthew 12: 1-3a)