Written by Erik Gernand
One of my favorite children’s authors is a guy named Mo Willems. I think his best story is one called “Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.”
“Wait. What story is that? I thought it was about a girl and some bears.” You might say. And you’d be right to catch that something is not quite right about this story.
It’s the story of three dinosaurs who decide to trap a little girl in their house so they can eat her. They plan everything to the last detail. They make chocolate pudding, arrange their chairs for her to sit and get the beds ready for her to nap. Sounds close to familiar at least.
Sure enough, a young girl named Goldilocks comes traipsing along and makes her way to the Dinosaurs’ house (because that’s the kind of thing Goldilocks does). Along the way, and even after she enters this strange house, she hears mumbling that sound like dinosaurs talking to each other about how they’re going to trap her. But she explains these noises away (must have been the wind!) and forges on.
She eats the huge pots of pudding (not porridge), tries to sit in the enormous chairs (which are all too big – none are “just right”) and then makes her way to the huge beds (again, all too big).
Around this time, Goldilocks begins to realize that something isn’t quite right with her story. Things aren’t fitting for her the way she feels they ought to. And then Goldilocks hears the unmistakable voice of a dinosaur saying, “The trap has sprung! Now is the time!”
Well, finally things click for her and she bolts out the back door of the house.
On the next to last page, Mo writes,
“And the moral of the story is: If you find yourself in the wrong story, leave.”
I think sometimes we find ourselves living in the wrong story. For some of us, it’s dramatically the wrong story. Like, we’re made for The Princess Bride and we’ve been living in Terminator. For others, maybe it’s more like Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. We’re close…but something just seems off.
You and I were made for a story with God at the center. We were made by God and for God. And if we try to adjust that story, replacing things here and there, then we’re essentially trying to live in a story that’s not ours and things will eventually seem “off.” In the end, they could actually get pretty dangerous.
The truth is, though, that if you find yourself in the wrong story (one without God at the center), you don’t have to stay there. You can leave to find the right one.
In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of a young man who had gotten lost in the wrong story. He comes to his senses one day and decides to head home to his father, fully expecting his father to be furious that he’d gotten lost in the first place. But when the son returns home, he finds the father waiting for him. Jesus describes it like this:
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20
This is the welcome from God our Father waiting for you when you come home to him and enter back into the story of God for your life.
You can do this. Even today. The back door is unlocked. I’d love to hear from you if you do.