Long Story Short – Guest Post from Andy Frost

Long Story Short – Guest Post from Andy Frost

Today I’m delighted to welcome Andy Frost who has recently written a fabulous book called Long Story Short. I have just finished this book and found it incredibly helpful and insightful. Here Andy tells us a little about the themes in the book, and later in the week I will post my own review and giveaway – watch this space.

My new book Long Story Short explores the power of story. Stories shape how we see the world, how we see ourselves and ultimately how we see God. The world bombards us with mini stories on billboards and though social media and it’s easy to think that the best kind of life is one in which we are the very centre of our story – chasing happiness, security or significance.

I love the fact that God does not reveal himself in a book simply made up of rules or information but that he reveals himself in a story. From Genesis to Revelation, we get this incredible story about God that reveals his justice and love and compassion. And it’s in this story that we also discover how desperate he is to be in relationship with us, his creation. This story reveals that ultimately, we are never meant to be the centre. God is always meant to be centre stage.

A lifetime with ourselves at the centre of the story is a story not big enough.

A lifetime with ourselves at the centre of the story is a story not big enough. As Donald Miller puts it ‘An individual story makes more sense when part of a bigger epic. The cosmos is too big of a stage and our time too short to think its about us.’ God provides us with that epic that frames our existence reminding us that we are created with worth and that we know how the story ends. There is always hope.

And a lifetime with ourselves at the centre of the story is also not fulfilling enough. Those who have reached the pinnacle of fame or achieved financial success or received glowing accolades have found that these things ultimately do not satisfy. We were created by a Creator and its in relationship with Him that we find what it is to be truly human.

We were created by a Creator and its in relationship with Him that we find what it is to be truly human.

But how do we get beyond our own selfish ideas and put God rightly at the centre of our lives? Here’s three quick ideas…

 

  1. Create space to get perspective.

It’s so easy to get lost in the stories that society offers. We are bombarded with messages about putting self first daily. Its vital that we create space in our lives, to breathe in deeply and get some perspective. It’s when we remember just who God is, his awesome power and love, and just what he has done for us, through Jesus, that we remember to let go of our selfish ambition. He is a God deserving of worship.

 

  1. Asking the question, ‘God, what are you up to?’

There is that incredible encounter that Moses has with God in the burning bush in Horeb. But too many Christians live their lives waiting for a burning bush encounter. When God wants to make his will very clear, he can – through a burning bush or an angelic visitation or talking donkey. But many of us will not encounter God in this way. Instead, we need to quietly ask God what he’s up to. And a big part of that is thinking through the passions God has already put in our lives.

The God story reminds us that we get to partner with Him in bringing about renewal to all things. This means spiritual change (helping others discover who God is and something about their true worth and identity), social change (transforming structures and institutions so that people are empowered to live well, free from the strongholds of poverty) and cultural change (creating in our different spheres of influence a better way of being).

Rather than living life on pause as we wait for a burning bush, we need to look out for the prompts that God gives us as we prayerfully explore our passions and look to discern how to best invest our lives.

Rather than living life on pause as we wait for a burning bush, we need to look out for the prompts that God gives us as we prayerfully explore our passions and look to discern how to best invest our lives.

 

  1. Be intentional in putting God first.

There are certain days, when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, when we naturally want to worship God and put him first. Then there are other days, when just getting out of bed is hard work. Generations of Christians have created habits around the spiritual disciples to keep their mind on God. Its very easy to focus on self but perhaps we need to create a rhythm that keeps us God-focused. Maybe choosing to fast at certain times; to abstain from social media for a day a week; to do something generous without taking credit; or to volunteer to help others less fortunate.

Today is another day in our life story. How will we choose to invest in it?

 

Thank you so much Andy for guest posting today.

If you’d like to connect with Andy, you can find him on twitter @andythefrosty

Or his blog at https://5thingsidiscoveredcom.wordpress.com

You can purchase his book here on Amazon

 

'A lifetime with ourselves at the centre of the story is a story not big enough.' Long Story Short - guest post by @andythefrosty on the power of story. @SPCKPublishing Click To Tweet

 

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