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Life is like…

15 Mar Student Ministry | Comments Off on Life is like…
Life is like…

What’s your life metaphor?

Shakespeare once wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” It’s a fairly poignant way of looking at the world, and one that seems perfectly natural coming from a playwright. He saw the world through the lens of his passion and work… the theater.  I’ve come across some other interesting perspectives on the subject; everything from life is a highway to life is like a box of chocolates.

We each have a unique lens.

As image bearers of God, we share so much in common, yet each us views life through a very personal and completely unique lens.  Our lenses are developed over time by our family histories, past experiences, present circumstances, and future hopes and dreams.  Our lens even creates a kind of life metaphor that molds and shapes how we see ourselves, God, and others around us.

That life metaphor is a unique set of images and words that capture our perspective, and more importantly, your life metaphor is a catalyst for whom or what you worship, what you value, what you put above everything else. Your life metaphor drastically impacts how you live, the choices you make, your identity, self-esteem, and personal worth.

So let me ask another question, “What are your students’ life metaphors?” I don’t know how often you think about it, but for these young adults searching for their own identity, struggling with their own choices, looking for their own sense of value and worth the question seems like a significant one. For your students, this may be an unknown truth that they’ve never explored.

So what are your students’ life metaphors?

For some, it is a competition that drives them to succeed.  For others, it is a party that never stops and is not to be missed.  Maybe for some, life is a buffet full of endless opportunities to satisfy every appetite.  For others, it is a lazy boy recliner calling them to the least amount of activity possible.

And within each metaphor, there’s an answer to the big questions. Who am I? Am I loveable? Where do I fit in? What do I make most important in my life?

If you took the first twenty minutes of a small group and asked each student to sketch a picture of their life metaphor, what might they sketch?  Perhaps, we could even ask, “What would I sketch?”

Towards a biblical life metaphor

In this case the old Sunday School answer really is the right answer:  “God, Jesus and the Bible.”  Through Jesus Christ, God gives us a new life metaphor, which emerges from the whole of Scripture…

Life is a redemption story!

It’s a redemptive play in five acts – creation, curse, covenant, cross, church, and restoration (we couldn’t let them all be C’s). Perhaps you’ve already led your students through the big meta-narrative of Scripture. If not, it’s a great place to start, but even if you have, how did they find themselves in it? If we borrow from Shakespeare’s metaphor, where did they see themselves in the scene? What roles do they play?

There’s all kinds of imagery and metaphors that we can use, but they all must center around the fact that Jesus is our Savior.  He determines our view of God, ourselves and others.  He gives us our identity, self-esteem and worth.  The redemption story impacts the way we live, the choices we make, and ultimately who we choose to worship.

Where to begin the discussion?

Let me encourage you to engage your students with this idea and begin a discussion about their life metaphor.  You have plenty of material to utilize… from Genesis to Revelation.  It is the perfect opportunity to share God’s redemptive story as a new life metaphor, a story in which they can begin to discover their identity, values, community, and the God who alone deserves their worship.  It is also a great tool for helping your students share their faith.  You could explore their life metaphors through your small group gatherings or at your next weekend retreat.

Let us know… Leave a comment to tell us about your life metaphor and the discussions you have with your students.
Ben Myers
Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp
Ben Myers has served as the Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp in Brackney, PA for the past 13 years. Arrowhead is a ministry committed to discipleship through its programs for adults with developmental disabilities, missions opportunities for youth groups, and mentoring of High School and College students. Ben also teaches as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and holds degrees from Cairn University and Baptist Bible Seminary.