The never-ending story

In a recent Sunday school class the kids and I played the “Let’s take turns telling a story” game.

I started them off with a character and a general setting and then we took turns with each person around the circle adding new characters, scenes and twists to the story. Plot development by plot development the story unfolded.

Often the ideas that other people came up with surprised us. We’d think to ourselves, “I didn’t see THAT coming.”

At a particularly challenging point in the story, one girl appeared stumped for ideas. She jokingly said, “The end.” But she quickly brushed that aside. “No, no, no,” she said. She gave the matter more thought and came up with an idea.

Sometimes we tried to think ahead so when our turn came we’d be ready. But then the person ahead of us would send the story off in a whole different unexpected direction. We’d have to adapt and think again.

Usually we’d panic a little when our turn arrived. We’d think, “Oh no. What am I going to say?” Once we set the panic aside, an answer always came.

We talked about all this after. We talked about how:

  • Life, like our story, is full of surprises. How often do we say, “I didn’t see that coming!”
  • It’s good to plan ahead but we need to be ready when things go off in a whole different direction. Be open and ready to respond to whatever comes.
  • Sometimes we want to give up. But carrying on is always more satisfying.
  • Panic paralyzes. Calm produces.
  • Working together is way more fun and interesting than puzzling through it on our own.

From this we can remind ourselves not to be surprised by the weird, unexpected plot developments in our lives and to be ready for anything. We can find the determination to never give up, not to panic, and to find some friends to make it interesting.

Have fun living your story.

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on July 11, 2017, in Arlene Smith, Arlene Somerton Smith, good faith, Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, metaphor, spirituality, writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. That is a wonderful Sunday School class exercise, and in fact, a good exercise for ALL of us. I do a similar type exercise in my creative writing classes, only we WRITE the next paragraph, not say it out loud. We each start with the same sentence on our piece of paper, like “She turned toward the man and realized that….” Then we write a paragraph, then everyone passes their paper to the person to their right (this works in a class of 6-8, best). Everyone had to write legibly, of course. We read the paragraph the other writer wrote, and continue with another one, then pass it to our right, etc. So, in a class of 7 students. by the time our original paper comes back to us, we each have a 2 page story that is much different than how we started it out, or how we thought it would end.
    Like life….. 🙂

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