The spirituality of our stories

 

The picture that a retreat – not military – invokes in most people’s minds is that of a time of spirituality away from everyday preoccupations. This is achieved through meditation, prayer, silence, contemplation, scripture or nature.

This past week-end twelve of us had a retreat which combined some of the above as well as structured and unstructured time for discussion.

It is amazing how every person’s story has the effect of building up and inspiring others. Whether these stories be personal or insights from daily life or scripture, they inspire, all the same.

In addition to sharing some aspects of my personal life and experience – which everyone of us did – I was privileged to lead a discussion of one of Jesus’ parables, The Parable of the Good Samaritan – even though the New Testament has a Samaritan, not a “good” Samaritan. In doing this, I brought in some of my personal experiences from living in the Holy Land, the setting of the parable, and my childhood in Tanzania.

Nothing required detailed study on my part, or academic research, but simply relating my personal experience.

At the conclusion of the retreat, many expressed an unfulfilled desire to have heard more of my story, and I too wished I could have heard more of everyone’s life experience. Obviously many of us prefer not to be the only speaker but the lesson here is that everyone has a story and that story cannot be told by someone else.

Those stories and those experiences are inspiring and transformational. But they need to be told. This domain is devoted to such stories that transform. You can also read about my personal experiences and transformation at http://www.mybeyondinfinity.com/. You can also go to the Blog Page for my discussion of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

But, perhaps the most important thing, is sharing our stories. Leave a comment or suggestion. Send me an e-mail at joel@joelmlay.com. Together, the world can be transformed.

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