I’ve always been a big non-fiction fan. There’s something magical about hearing or reading or watching a story and knowing that this really happened somewhere, that someone really lived something like this. That it is possible and it did happen.
Movies are often based loosely on true stories, and the truer of those will say something in the tag line like “Based on a true story” or “Inspired by a true story.” For producers, this seems to mean that some of the character names are the same and the basic main idea of the story is the same as what really happened, but the details are probably much more exciting and entertaining than they were in the true story.
I have spent a lot of my education and career trying to learn all I can about how languages are learned. It seems, at first, that we learn languages by listening to people around us who speak that language, and mimicking what we hear. This certainly makes sense from the way we see parents talking to babies, saying “Ma-ma” and “Da-da” over and over again in an effort to get their name to be the baby’s first word. But if you think through the way small children speak, or even the way students of a new language speak, you would realize that language learners do not just parrot back what they hear. Most children would never hear a native English speaking adult say “I drawed you a picture,” but two year old children utter very similar sentences to that every day across the US. Clearly they are not mimicking the English they hear, but rather using what they have heard and the unconscious rules of language that they are developing to inspire their own language understanding. They are inspired by the language around them to create something new. In fact, nearly all of the sentences you spoke and will speak today no one else has ever said and no one else will ever say.
The truest story I know, the one I come back to when my words fail me and I’ve lost my footing, the inspiration for my life and every story I will ever write, is God’s story of creation and redemption. The title of this blog is meant to remind me (and you) that everything I do and have and am is inspired if not directly created by God and He deserves every bit of the recognition and glory for all of it. I am still learning the language of God and my feeble attempts at writing it are, I’m sure, grammatically incorrect and missing a few capital letters, but as I learn and grow I cannot help but use this new language God is teaching me.
I pray that His stories of redemption and grace in this world, that this new language would inspire you, too. What is God teaching you these days? How is His story inspiring yours?