Write 31 days, Day 18
Writing Prompt: Search
Good stories encourage us to think beneath the obvious meaning, wondering what else the author may have intended. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is just such a tale. Those familiar with the story know that Harry’s greatest passion is the game of quidditch. Harry is the seeker for Griffyndor, the player whose job it is to “seek out” and catch a small flying ball called the golden snitch.
Yet, being a seeker is not just a game to Harry. If we understand Harry’s story, he is a seeker in life. He is trying to understand who he is. Through the adventures of each of the seven books, the undercurrent is that Harry does not know himself. Friends and strangers alike routinely tell Harry who they understand him to be: James and Lily’s son, the one who stopped Voldemort, the “chosen one,” but Harry must ultimately come to understand his identity on his own, sorting out the various influences in his life.
For a life well lived, each of us must also take an honest inventory of who we are. In the opening to his Institutes, John Calvin wrote, “Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.” In this life, we are all seekers.
For reflection: What have been the major landmarks on your journey? What made them significant?
Today’s prompt: Story
I read the stories in the good old Book, stories of men and women of faith. They have become embedded in my mind, the struggle of sinners, the difficulty of relationships, the holiness of God.
In these stories, I see the resolution of struggle because I have read through to the end. I don’t know the resolution to my own story; I am only half way through. I still live in the tension and confusion of an unfolding narrative. Who are heroes? Who are the villains? Which one am I?
I remain aware of one truth: my story keeps unfolding, each moment new words; each day new paragraphs, and each year new chapters.
How would you describe your story? Is it an adventure? A comedy? A tragedy?
I’m taking my cues for 31 Days 2018 from Jen Rose Yokel, who explains the writing challenge on her blog.
Here is Jen’s explanation: “Here’s the plan: I’ll be taking my cues from the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes prompts (a challenge within a challenge, as we like to say). Each day, I’ll offer a little reflection on the daily prompt, hopefully not too long winded because 5 minutes isn’t a lot of time to write. And then I’ll close the post with an invitation — whether that’s a prayer, a spiritual practice to try that day, or just permission to be still for a few minutes and write a reflection of your own.”
There’s an unspoken message that the only stories worth telling are the stories that end up in history books. This is not true. Every story matters. -Viola Davis