Once upon a time, I shared this plot with parents of teens…
“We hope to encourage our sons and daughters to move beyond the ‘decoration’ mindset. Many teens place themselves in the center of universe. Everything revolves around them. Everyone is present to serve their purposes. People, things, places exist as decor in their own lives.”
Heads nodded in agreement.
My hopeful conclusion in the story went something like this…
“Soon our teenagers will mature. They will recognize that the world is a big place and that we all have a role to play.”
More nods and even a few smiles.
Little did I realize, though, how many of us adults actually model the decor mode! Our view of the world can often be quite self-serving…even bordering on an entitled, narcissistic mindset. Our teens merely mimic our lifelong performances.
Please know….I’m not excusing immature and selfish choices of some of our teens. But I would like to suggest a change in our own perspective as adults. Instead of bemoaning the immaturity of the youth among us, may I suggest that we adults be more attentive to demonstrating the storyline mode??
God created us in relationship and for relationship. (Genesis 1:27) Our stories are intricately woven together. We are in story together. We create a much better plot when we recognize that fact and join together…
“Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Diagnosing the Plot
Here are a few questions to help diagnosis the decor vs. story plot….
1. When you walk into a room and laughter breaks out, do you assume it’s about you?
2. When driving do you say: Why are all of these people in my way? (Without considering that maybe you are speeding and the laws of physics clearly demonstrate that with your increased velocity, you will pass more mass. It’s not about you and your inconveniences.)
3. When driving do you also say: Why do the traffic lights always turn red when I am running late? (Really?? Like the lights have a mind?? Maybe the lights just turned red. It’s not about you and your tardiness.)
Maturity is reached when we become aware of the stories all around us. Everyone has one. None are more important than others.
We need to observe life around us.
One scene: When I enter a room with my mouth open and my questions abounding, I am in decor-mode. I am placing my questions and concerns above the story of everyone in the room.
A better scene: When I enter the room, I observe who is on the couch. What is going on in his or her life? What are the joys and struggles? What is their story?
Moving from Decor to Story
When we recognize that God created each person unique and special, we make huge strides toward a life that is story-led. We can no longer blame the “decor” for our faults and failures, but come to accept responsibility for our own actions in the story.
As we begin to understand our own story, we come to also appreciate other person’s story. We mature and we model maturity.
Posted by Sharon R Hoover
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