Story Time Warfare

PEN-WEAPON
Those who tell the stories, rule the world.

– Native American proverb

Who is telling us our stories? Especially to our children and teens? Young minds are hungry for story to help them figure out their path through life’s crazy maze. Novels. Movies. Television. Family oral histories. Songs. Even video games tell a story. There is so much power a storyteller can wield.

Jesus knew what he was doing. When crowds would amass to hear him speak, he told a story. The Gospels in the New Testament are filled with the timeless parables Jesus shared with his beloveds.

A worthy story illuminates the listener from within and has the power to alter how one views the world and his or her place within it, as well as foster empathy and understanding towards others. The senses are engaged as they listen with their imaginations and see, hear, taste, touch and smell the story world that the teller has created. The listener’s multiple intelligences are fired up by story, inspiring interpersonal, intrapersonal, existential questions of: “Who am I?”; “What am I to do with my life?”; “What happens after death?” and so on. Story ignites the internal fireworks of being.

Ask questions of your storyteller. Research before you read or recommend. What is the fruit of this story? Is there unnecessary violence in thought and action? Is it hate-filled toward a certain type of person or group? All actions in this world are first birthed by the thought of the actor. Story can nourish or corrupt the field of thoughts and actions.

Not to sound alarmist, but there is a battle waging for the minds of our young. They’re flexing muscle, spreading wings, testing waters. Their brains are sparking as a sense of place and purpose in the world is seating within them. Sadly, in addition to poor stories, the distractions of technology in all of its manifestations and boundless consumerism are feeding young minds the equivalent of junk food.

The nourishment of a good story is so needed. Heroines and heroes who struggle to find the strength within themselves to overcome obstacles. Yes, they have flaws. Yes, they doubt themselves. But they persist and grow in strength of personality and spirit. While young readers are still malleable, a powerful story can be transformative before the filters of hate, prejudice, greed and judgment harden their gaze as adults

As a Young Adult author, I have a two-word phrase that guides my storytelling for the teen reader. Spiritual catalyst. To awaken “The Seeker”. To inspire the young reader to question individuality and relationship to the divine. What path the reader takes, once the questioning is stirred to life, is none of my business. Whether it leads to a particular organized religion, or simply a budding life of awakened consciousness, I get out of the way and trust Spirit to step in to do its job.

The world aches for awakened human beings, wiping the sleep dust of the material world out of their eyes, to take up the yoke of fostering a spiritual presence on this planet, to anchor heaven to earth, to create a world of peace.

We need the big guns of good storytelling to help in this mission.

 

 

Ever since three rebellious gods moved in next door, life has never been the same for Justus. His mom plays Twister with a goddess. He gets his first kiss with the secret love of his life. His evil step-grandmother tries to kill him.

Identity can be a killer in this Young Adult fantasy thriller. Destiny calls.…
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