Is the power of a story found in its explosive moment, or might it be somewhere else?
Fireworks are fun.
Back when I was nine, fireworks were legal in town. I separated two dozen firecrackers with their short fuses and filled my cup, ready to light one at a time and throw them into the air. This would be a thrill like none other.
I knew to be careful.
I cradled the cup in my left hand, with the foot-long smoldering stick, called a “punk,” secure between my fingers. As soon as the punk ignited the fuse, I had less than a second to pitch the firecracker and keep it from exploding in my hand. That had happened before, and it hurt. With my right thumb and forefinger, I picked up the next firecracker, lit the fuse, and threw it into the air. A flash of light and a loud pop, and I was ready for the next explosive moment.
This was fun.
One after another, I watched the light flashes and heard the loud pops. As I picked up the fifth firecracker, I tried to manipulate the punk in my hand to touch the fuse.
All I could see was blackness, as if I had been thrown into a deep, dark cave. A high-pitched sound was ringing in my ears. For a moment, I was blind and couldn’t hear.
When my sight returned, I stared into the empty cup. All my firecrackers had exploded at once. How close had I come to being permanently deaf and blind? I learned my lesson. Never again would I come close to doing anything like that.
If someone had told me this story, I wouldn’t have had to experience it myself.
Some people think the power of a story is in the explosive moment, but that’s not true. Actually, my story is found in the stupidity of my actions that led to the near-tragedy.
The same principle applies when we share our explosive moments that reveal our need for God. The story isn’t the explosion. That’s just the climax, when the flash of light and the pop ends the story. The power of any story is in the struggle that led to the lesson that will forever change our lives.
Each time you tell your stories, your victory is strengthened and others will learn from your experience and be changed without being hurt by the explosive moment.
What we have seen and heard is too important to keep quiet. — Acts 4:20, The Discussion Bible