After nine seasons, we come to the close of an iconic television series. It happens. Breaking Bad came to a deadly conclusion, the Sopranos faded out in a family outing to a New Jersey diner, Lost embraced a spiritual death, Carrie and Mr. Big came home to New York in the transition towards Sex in the City movies and M*A*S*H bid all Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.
And now… How I Met Your Mother. This series reminds me of the power of Story. Each episode is told within the context of Ted Mosby telling his two rather bored looking teens the tale of how he met… well the title of the series.
I have become more and more convicted that, while I don’t often spend much time looking back and being nostalgic, I do want to live a life and story worth retelling. Here are the elements I seek within each of my stories:
THE MEET-CUTE: That is a scene, usually in a romantic comedy, where people meet in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing. It often involves a clash of personalities or beliefs, embarrassing situations, or comical misunderstandings that further drive the plot. Clash, embarrassment, misunderstanding could all be the death of any future interactions but they also can be the start of something… It all comes down as to how you view it.
HEROIC SERVICE: This is not part of the story of which one speaks of much… never let the right hand know what your left hand is doing kind of stuff (Matthew 6:3) but I want to do good. It is not about codependence, it is about imagining me as a positive part of other’s lives, not for my gain but for theirs. These are the gaps in when the story gets told, but they do fuel the warmth of the story and empower the smile on the storyteller’s face.
WORKING TOWARDS THE POSITIVE CONCLUSION: or, as I like to consider it, the Reign of God. Our relationships, as I have often suggested to young people, is how we live out our faith. Your prayer life, your acts of service, your knowledge of the Lord are not as essential to your faith life as is ability to communicate God’s love and mercy to others. If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
How will your story be told? What will be the tale of your relationships? What is the story that you will share with Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates? And how will others tell story about How I Met you?