Telling A Better Story: A Call To Action
The adventure you have always dreamed of finding has come to you. Wake up; let yourself be shaken out of the fog, out of your inability to see the trail and the destination at its end.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:13, ESV).
The truth is we have caught glimpses of the grandness ahead, even as we take note of the fallenness around us. And it’s true that we don’t quite know what’s ahead. It’s as if we’ve been only stumbling along in the darkness, along the banks of a great river, not knowing where it is going, but in our truer moments we follow it, resting along its banks, drinking from it. We hear the rumble of a rushing waterfall drawing us onward in the distance, telling us we have what it takes to keep going. Inside we know the destination is worth it—our hearts ache with longing to be running along this trail—but having never seen a waterfall before, we know not how to comprehend its greatness, and we lose heart. We wonder if this truly is the adventure for which we were created.
But this adventure has come to us, and there’s no going back now. We can’t return to the days of weak stories filled with false identities and fake problems and disappointing guides and mediocre plans. The better story we will now tell will change the story we live; our renewed perspective will drown out the lifeless and timid and shallow calls to action we all once followed.
I wanted to use Donald Miller’s outline from How To Tell A Story for this series of journal entries because if we break apart the political story we are telling into its parts, the lies and the darkness can’t hide when we compare them to the Great Story and its parts, and because they can’t hide we have to own up to telling and living better stories.
In another of his works, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Don makes this observation: “Once you know what it takes to live a better story, you don’t have a choice. Not living a better story would be like deciding to die, deciding to walk around numb until you die, and it’s not natural to want to die.” (p. 66.)
Ultimately the thing about the Great Story is that it changes our story. It changes everything by demanding change; it brings healing and hope and sets us free.
And so when you turn on the news or talk politics with your friends, you are free to show them that your hope is placed elsewhere, that this government is only for a time, and that you care more about stepping into the broken hearts around you to bring healing by showing how the deeper freedom changes the story.
If you’re working in political culture, you can shake off the mindsets that tell you to manipulate, hate, and destroy. You can shock the world of those around you by how free of strife you are now. If you’re a staffer on Capitol Hill, you have a new starting point of truth and beauty around which you can organize all of your thoughts and talking points and legislative pursuits. And Members and others in leadership, you can lead with specific plans knowing the core of who you are is safe with the one who called you to the work; you can rest knowing you aren’t the true hero, or the ultimate guide.
This message will not resonate with everyone. There are many who will refuse to see beyond the game of political hackery that drives so much of Washington. And there will be others who latch on to beauty without understanding the depth of truth, embracing a soft niceness that will never be strong enough to pursue justice. But we aren’t done telling the greatest story ever.
We keep coming back to it because there’s no truer reality, and even in our call to action we need to see the ending.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (I Peter 5:10, ESV).
After you have suffered.
So to the ones who feel burned out and desperate, who want relief from a political culture that robs you of community and authenticity, and eats you alive with its chaos, its constant franticness, and its suspicious fear of everyone around you, come join us. To the ones who long to write beautifully and govern well, but are stuck in a pit of spinning the same talking points around and around, come join us. To the ones who are tired of a culture that tells you to see your neighbors who think differently from you as pitiful or evil enemies whom you must overcome on your quest to power, come join us. Out of our mission and vision, we want to serve American political culture by empowering writers within that culture to publish a weekly journal telling the story of healing through freedom.
Join us, and write a new story of freedom, founded deeper than even the American ideal.
Through it you can find rest, and you can re-orient all of your work and see it flourish as a creative pursuit of truth and beauty, of freedom, of healing.
We may have been only trudging along the trail through a forest, hoping to find the source of the rushing rumble ahead—until now.
It’s time we start running. The adventure is now upon us.
“His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.” (Ezekiel 43:2, NIV).
We will endure now, because the story is already written. We have come into the clearing; we have found God. In our confusion and lostness, he has brought us home by the power of his voice, and the depth of his love. Alive in his presence, we rejoice: LIBERATUS—we are set free!