When I was 10, I received a book about Batman. This wasn’t just any book, however. This was a book that would take me through many harrowing adventures, twists and turns. Some adventures would end poorly. Some would end well. The way it ended, however, was up to me.
This was my first experience with a Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) style book. You may have interacted with one as a child.
If you tried to read a CYOA book from cover to cover, you would find it maddening and disorienting. CYOA books are not written for that purpose. The point is not to get one story out of the book, but to find your own story based on your own personality and decisions. You could start anywhere in the book and at the end of a chapter, you were transported to a random page based on a choice of how you wanted the story to go. Are you going to be risky and reckless or do you want to play it safe and see? The choice is up to you.
You are the hero and you never know where you will end up next.
Unfortunately, many people today treat the Bible as a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Choosing one’s own adventure is great for Batman and his escapades, but not for God and the Gospel.
Far too often, we are tempted to jump from Scripture to Scripture, learning lines and phrases but never actually considering the story as a whole. We are often told that God is writing our story, and that God is for us. Both of these are true, but we would be better served to remember that God is writing us into His story, and that we are created for, by and through God (Col. 1:16).
The Gospel is a story. It is God’s story. It is a story about a perfect King harrowingly rescuing His rebellious and unworthy bride from slavery to evil and its realms. It is a story of adventure, love, lust, war, hidden mysteries and triumph from the least likely of places. It concludes with the greatest eternal ending to the most impossible of problems. And though the story has been written and sealed since before the dawn of time, we live it daily with every breath, joy, fear and wonder at what happens next.
We don’t learn about Bible times; we are in Bible times. We don’t take sips of the stream in order to quench a dryness in our mouths; we swim in the ocean of God’s Word, knowing the full depths we can never see.
God is an author, and He has written an impossible story. Yet God is a creator and breathes the story into existence, upholds it through subsistence, and seals it in consummation.
Why then would we simply use it for quotes and quips to tack onto the stories we are writing for ourselves?
Don’t use the Bible to color the pages you are drawing. Don’t try to find God’s place in your story – a great crusader in your adventure.
Find your adventure in the story God has already written. There is none greater.