Have you ever traveled with a loved one to the town they grew up in, but they haven't been back in years?
It usually isn't too long before they start regaling you with stories of an aunt who one time got into a fender bender at a particular intersection. They can tell you the name of the families who used to live in every house. They can tell you the spots that they used to hang out in during high school. They are being flooded with memories by being back in this space and it's almost like they're not in control of their stories. They just flow out of them. Some are profound and some are completely mundane.
It's like you are with the outline of the person you know, but their mind and soul is transported back to whatever time their memories exist in. They are like an explorer bringing back tales of travel from a distant land.
The stories they tell you and the stories they tell themselves shape their beliefs about who they are and who others are. Taken to its extreme this can be used to say that we just need to change our stories and we can change the realities of our pasts. That's not what I'm talking about.
Rather, I mean that our stories are both what has happened and our interpretation of what happened. Over the course of our lives we can view certain events charitably until we start to realize more of the abuse that was present. And we can also view parts of our own story fearfully only to one day have a triumphant relationship over them.
This week we're going to look at an experience of some scouts coming back to the people of the Wilderness and tell them a story about their future. It's a helpful reflection on the stories we tell ourselves and the places that our relationship to the events around us take us.