If our framing story is wise, strong, realistic, and constructive, it can send us on a hopeful trajectory. But if our framing story is dysfunctional,weak, false, unrealistic, or destructive, it can send us a downward arc, a dangerous, high-speed joy ride to un-peace, un-health, un-prosperity, and even un-life. (P67)
The question is can we change our framing story? The answer, even from outside of a Christian perspective is surely, “Yes we can!” (with due deference to both Bob the Builder and Barack Obama). We can tell ourselves a different story. I may have grown up inheriting a framing story from my parents, but I do not need to live inside that story forever. I get to choose the framing story of the rest of my life. I may choose the same story, with some variations, or I may choose a different story.
After years of thinking you’re a failure, yo can tell yourself a new story of hope. I’m not sure it will make you successful, just by changing your story, but it should mark a turning point. This is what happens when the gospel, the framing story that Jesus offers us, begins to penetrate our old stories. We change. We are transformed.
If you are still telling yourself the same old story, the same old destructive, useless-me story or even the unstoppable-success-with-no-one-else-to-rely-upon-or-care-about story, then it’s time for a change. It’s time to tell the realistic story that yes you’ve fallen, yes you’ve failed, but in Christ there is healing and forgiveness for the past and great hope for both the present and the future.
Yo may be who you are, but you are not all that you can be. In Christ you can become all that God wants you to become. All those fears you carry around won’t go away overnight but you can find a place to store them other than in the back of your mind.
I changed my framing story one December evening in 1976. I still live with the impact of the framing story of my early life, but I have chosen a different story for my life for a long time now. I am being reshaped by it to become more like Jesus.