SONDER - noun.
"SONDER - noun. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own." - John Koenig
Transcript: "Sonder. You are the main character—the protagonist—the star at the center of your own unfolding story. You're surrounded by your supporting cast: friends and family hanging in your immediate orbit.
Scattered a little further out, a network of acquaintances who drift in and out of contact over the years.
But there in the background, faint and out of focus, are the extras. The random passersby. Each living a life as vivid and complex as your own.
They carry on invisibly around you, bearing the accumulated weight of their own ambitions, friends, routines, mistakes, worries, triumphs and inherited craziness.
When your life moves on to the next scene, theirs flickers in place, wrapped in a cloud of backstory and inside jokes and characters strung together with countless other stories you'll never be able to see. That you'll never know exists.
In which you might appear only once. As an extra sipping coffee in the background. As a blur of traffic passing on the highway. As a lighted window at dusk."
WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
This is something I think about a lot; my story; your story; God’s story. How does it all work? Our personal lines of time meeting and splintering - once - or again and again. Each momentary convergence changing everything or almost nothing. What is the point, does any of this matter?
I’m still obsessed with the idea of living a better story, but like this video starts to explore, what does that look like? Do we really each act as if we are the main characters in our life, reacting to events that are unfolding around us. Family, friends, baristas, neighbors and acquaintances just peppering "my" story - just there to add a little spice or in some cases impose on us - like flies in the soup or our expectations - souring the taste of our personal dreams and ambitions? Sometimes they play the role of the wise mentor, our Obi-Wan Kenobi; sometimes they play our personal villains, destroying our homeworld of Alderaan, or at the very least arguing with us about politics on Facebook.
As my life becomes more complex (I’m a selfish and introverted person at heart) I find I have to fight this slow creep into a myopic worldview. I have to continually fight to continually see I’m just a small part of all these other stories on this planet. Sometimes, I’m the hero rushing into the fray armed with hope and supplies, but most of the time (paradoxically) I'm the extra, sipping coffee and just trying to pay my rent.
When I become so focused on a life full of my passions and my purpose it can be easy to slip into this kind of egocentric worldview. My story has been full of activity recently. Meaningful, amazing, exhausting, life-giving, poignant and world-changing activity - cue flashback montage. But, if you are reading this right now (reading my story) you are part of this. Your story and my story are one, we are sharing a scene or a narrative arc together. I want to be the kind of person that sees these threads and crossings as non-coincidental. To take it a step further, as a Christian I believe we are both part of one (bigger than us) story: God’s story – this (all we see) is not truly about us (you or I) this (life) is about something much greater; and we each play a vivid and complex role in this greater story.
The irony is I’m writing this on a blog like I have something new or important to say - "look at me world," I scream with the click of each key - like. comment. share. approve. validate. love. listen. hear. (but don't we all?) Am I the only one that feels this need for my story to bleed into the lives and stories around me? I have seen that life has meaning and purpose, and for followers of Christ like myself, there is a greater purpose that should supersede our own goals, thoughts and stories. God has created us to give him glory (Isaiah 43:7).
My prayer for each of us is that we can find the courage and faith to rush to the aid of our fellow thespians on this stage called earth (castaside egotism) and find ways to enter into the stories around us with love and hope. Doing it all for God’s maximum glory. In this story (life), so full of noise and a world full of Netflix, Trump, Nintendo, conflict and pain - let’s shine bright! Like a lighted window at dusk, we can shine. The night may be dark, but fear not: "for behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you." (Isaiah 60:2)
- random thoughts of a protagonist.
What is your story? How is it unfolding? How can we interact/help/show Christ’s love to the characters on the fringe of "our" story? How can I be praying for you? - reply/comment/shoot me a txt.