A “Storiented” Family Activity
Apparently I coined a new term a few nights ago through a slip of the tongue. After making some comments in my Bible study group, a couple of people immediately spoke up, saying they like my use of the term “storiented” in reference to our postmodern culture. I didn’t really mean to say it – I guess I just ran “story” and “oriented” together a little, so it sounded like one word. We moved on with our discussion of the Gospel of Mark, and I told them I wasn’t trying to sound clever.
I’ve thought about it several times since then and realized…we do live in a storiented culture. Stories are very important to us. They evoke deep emotion in our hearts. A good story can prompt us to: laugh, cry, shout, believe, remember, imagine, hope, sympathize, blame, forgive, and so much more. Stories open up other worlds of adventure and romance and possibility. Wrongs are righted. True love prevails. Goodhearted heros triumph over sinister villains. Problems are solved. And relationships are restored.
Many of our entertainment choices are very storiented in nature. We keep up with our favorite prime-time dramas or “reality” shows on TV. We enter the story world of a good movie in a dark theater or the privacy of our own surround-sound entertainment room. We lose ourselves in the unfolding narrative of a novel, biography, or other book. Even music, videogames, and web surfing can be about connecting with a story larger than ourselves. We love great stories, and we love to feel that we are, in some way, a part of them.
If approached properly, stories can inspire us to live better lives and build better relationships. At the same time, stories can serve as an escape from real life into a fantasyworld where things work out more as we would like. Unfortunately, in our entertainment saturated culture of today, many of us spend way too much time escaping through our stories, and not nearly enough time being inspired by them to make a difference in our own real life stories.
I’d like to offer one way you can make a real impact in the life-story around you, while still enjoying your storiented entertainment. it may sound simple, but please don’t dismiss it. It can be a very powerful way for family members and relationships to grow in very meaningful ways. OK, brace yourself, here it comes: TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT THE SHOWS YOU WATCH TOGETHER! Whether TV, movies, or even computer or video games – use your entertainment as opportunities to build relationships, get to know each other more deeply, and discuss real issues together.
I will be writing more in this topic in future posts. For now, click on my page – “Movie Recommendations” for some ideas about how you can use movie-watching to grow in your relationships and even overcome major life issues together.