My wife and I spent last evening with some of our closest friends, listening to four great songwriters sing and share their stories of why they wrote different songs. Each writer would take a turn and share a brief story of what was going on in their lives when they became inspired to write a particular song. Some of the songs were slow, some were medium speed, but all of them were great with a variety of genres.
As a songwriter myself, I was enjoying every moment. I could relate to what they were saying and singing. One of my lifelong friends, (Joseph Reed), who is a great songwriter as well, was sitting next to me and anytime we would hear a line we liked, we would comment to each other. They were songs about life, songs about personal struggles, songs about relationships and transitions in each writer’s life.
Not everyone in the room were writers, but they were all interested in each writer’s story. Yes, stories, because that’s actually what a song is…it’s a story. Suddenly, the songs began to connect many of us, because we could relate to a specific story. Each song would cause different emotions, especially if it was about falling in love or seeing your children get older. We would smile, laugh and cry, because there’s just something about a great story.
Maybe you’re not a writer, but you have a story. You may not be musically inclined, but you’ve been through some things that a lot people can relate to. You probably have a very romantic love story or maybe a hilarious wedding gone wrong story. I’m sure you even have some stories of sad moments or challenging ones in your life. Really, you’re no different than the songwriters on that stage last night, because you have the same stories, you just haven’t told it.
You don’t have to be a singer to tell your story. There are all kinds of formats for telling a story. Find one that fits you and begin to share. People want to hear your story. They’re interested in your journey, whether you’re where you want to be or still on your way. I have discovered, that I get more response from songs I’ve written from personal experiences, than any other. As difficult as it is, I even write and talk about some extremely difficult times in my life. I just believe, if something I’ve gone through can help somebody, then I’ll share it. Who knows what your story could do?
I challenge you today to become a story teller. You don’t have to have a stage to do this, in fact, speaking in front of people may bring you great fear. Write your stories down, share them with someone at lunch or post something on a social media platform. Go ahead and tell something funny, romantic or even sad. Share your struggle and your recovery. You may be amazed at the lives you could help by sharing some of your experiences. The truth is, people love stories, so add yours to the list.
I would also like to encourage my fellow ministers, writers and songwriters. Maybe you’re in a drought and you’re having a hard time finding the inspiration to share something new. Why not make your next project personal. There may be something in your past you haven’t thought about in a long time. Put something personal in your sermon this Sunday…make your next blog about your marriage…share a funny story about raising your kids. You may be getting ready to write one of your best songs or possibly the greatest chapter in your book. Just make your next move, a personal one.
I would love to hear some of your stories. In just a few lines, share something funny or moving on my blog today.