I am teaching a course on preaching and storytelling at Perkins School of Theology this spring. Every Tuesday afternoon from 1:30-4:20, 12 of us gather to hear stories, tell stories. and reflect on why they are such a powerhouse and how they function in our lives. We’re shaping an understanding of Christian preaching as placing our lifestories in the context of a larger Story with a better preface and a whole lot better ending that the shrunken, shriveled stories we’re currently writing by ourselves.
Gottschall cites psychologist Michele Crossley who believes that much human inner misery stems from an “incoherent story,” an “inadequate narrative account of oneself,” “a life story gone awry.” Healing lies in finding a story we can live with. Crossley believes that psychotherapists act as script doctors who help people revise their life stories so that they can play the role of protagonists again- suffering and flawed protagonists, to be sure, but protagonists who are moving toward the light.(175)
Most of us view ourselves as the protagonist in our own life story and God as a supporting actor. We need to flip the pancake. God is the protagonist and we are supporting actors. That takes a lot of the pressure off and still leaves us with a good story to live in and to live into.