COMMENTARY

Why is a story important?

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I’m from a baseball family. I know well that the value of a new ball is a little under three dollars. I also know that for the considerable price point, we’ve lost far too many in the creek behind our home. Everyone loves a good deal or flea market find, but they can be hard to come by…especially if there is a story attached.

For instance, in his final at-bat of 1998, Mark McGwire became the first Major League Baseball player to hit 70 home runs in a single season. The 70th home run ball has been dubbed the “Crown Jewel of Sports Memorabilia,” and was sold at auction for a record-breaking $3 million.

I don’t have much interest in sports memorabilia, but I do attach value to items associated with family history. For many, the worth of a quilt is based solely upon aesthetic elements or the usefulness of the patchy blanket. Others of us are familiar with the story painstakingly stitched into every square. Sometimes, it’s bits and pieces of our own heritage: fabric from Granny’s apron, a sample of Mother’s first Easter dress, or a block from Daddy’s work shirt.

So, why is a story important? They add value. Stories convey our culture. They influence and inspire us into action, and can be used for teaching or connecting peoples.

It’s something to consider as we live in what has been dubbed “The Throw-Away Society.” We are driven by consumerism and a supreme value of convenience toward “items” deemed as disposable: utensils, grocery bags, even pregnancies. Would we look at “things” differently if there was a story attached? I believe so.

Maybe we could enlighten, influence, and inspire others to value life with a story—starting with the real beginning. Start with how God formed man in His image (Genesis 1:27). Move on to how He makes no mistakes (Matthew 5:48). And oh, how He loves us! All of us, from little old Sunday School teachers and choir leaders, to post-abortive mothers, hateful protestors, and Planned Parenthood workers (John 3:16).

Goods and services are only worth what someone else is willing to pay. That Mark McGwire ball? Not $3 million in my book. My granny’s handstitched quilt? It’s not exactly for sale.

The world is selling us a lie. We place far too much value on fleeting convenience and comfort, but are quick to throw away life. Ever wonder what you are worth? There is a really good story, friends, called The Gospel, The Good News of Our Lord Jesus Christ. May we know our identity in Christ, and everyone’s value in His eyes.


Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter, and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. Her first novel, The Bird and the Bees, is a Christian contemporary romance set to be released in April 2020. Visit her at wordslikehoney.com.

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