Years ago on Easter Sunday, my friends Anneliese & Bob had their youngest son Daniel baptized (Daniel is now a senior in high school, ready to launch to college!). After the service I went to the children's area to pick up my own kids, and brought them back to the sanctuary to share our good wishes with our friends. Hurrying back upstairs, I didn't have much time to listen to their excitement of what they had been doing during the worship hour. They were bristling with enthusiasm, and my son Taylor in particular was about to burst with a story.
As we came back into the sanctuary, Taylor ran to the center of the aisle amongst all the morning chaos, and in a very loud voice proclaimed,
"He is not here. He is in PRISON!"
Instead of hearing in the lesson, "He is not here, he is RISEN," he had heard something a little different instead. And for whatever story had been conjured in his head, it had made quite an impression! I think of it every year now when Easter rolls around.
Acts 16:20-34 tells the story of Paul and Silas in prison. It sounds like a terrible situation to me, and yet within it they still seemed to find good news. Between this passage and Taylor's proclamation, it makes me think of my own metaphorical prisons, places where I keep my heart caged from time to time. Unlike Paul and Silas, I am not usually able to see the up side to hard times. I don't feel at home amongst iron bars and earthquakes. I create stories to help me self protect. Maybe you do too.
Harris III says there are three stories of self sabotage. I am not enough. I don’t belong.
I can’t. How often are you telling yourself these stories? How often are you imprisoning yourself with limiting mindsets?