The Story Teller


Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small rural town in the South myself.

Maybe it’s because I share so many of the same values, morals, and ideals that the show portrayed.

Maybe it’s just because I love old-school comedy and quirky characters.

For whatever reason, I have always been, and still remain, an avid fan of the Andy Griffith television show. If I’m watching TV and I come across an old rerun, I am probably going to stop and watch it to this day.

My favorite character on the Andy Griffith show was Deputy Barney Fife, played by actor Don Knotts. The character of Barney Fife was a bungling, goofy, misfit of a Deputy Sheriff who owed most of his success to the Sheriff’s “fixing” of his missteps. The role was so perfectly suited for Don Knott’s slapstick, over-the-top comedy. He would win an Emmy Award for each of the five years he appeared on the show.

Don Knotts was so good in that role that it ruined any chance he had to become a serious actor. He was so type cast that most of his latter roles in television were playing very similar style characters. No one could see him playing a serious role in film or television.

The wrong main character will ruin a good story. Everyone was afraid that if they cast Don Knotts into a serious role, it would ruin the story.

Can you imagine Don Knotts as Batman? Or how about Don Knotts playing Col. Jessup, the Jack Nicholson character in “A Few Good Men?” Or Don Knotts instead of Russell Crowe in “Gladiator?”

It just wouldn’t work.

God is telling His story around us all the time. And he invites you and I to play a part in his story. And that’s the part I keep forgetting. It’s His story.

I’m not even the main character in the story of my own life. My life story, according to God, is about Jesus. I just get to play my little supporting role while Christ stars in the story.

Sometimes I struggle with accepting the role God has given me in the telling of his story. Oftentimes I don’t like the script. Sometimes I struggle because I don’t like the way my story is going. There are certain scenes of my life as a dad of a child with special needs that I would just soon leave out of the script altogether. As I go further down this journey raising a son with special needs I’m finding that the hard scenes I often want to skip are the ones that end up mattering the most in my life. But I don’t get to edit the script because I’m not the director.

I have to remember that everything God does, he does to accomplish his purposes, and to bring glory and honor to his name.

The way I respond to my challenges in raising a child with special needs; the way I let God use my circumstances to accomplish his purposes; the way I react to the trials; it’s all part of the way I tell my story. And the way I tell my story becomes the way I live his story.

God has given each of us a unique story when he created us. We cannot be envious or jealous of someone else’s story. We can’t try to live someone else’s story. We also can’t let someone else try to control our story.

When they film a television show or a movie, they don’t film the scenes sequentially. Meaning all the scenes that comprise the finished product aren’t necessarily shot in the order they will appear in the story.

God’s purpose for your life is like that. Some scenes don’t make sense to us right now because we haven’t seen the finished product. And this side of heaven we may never know the purpose, the point, or the reason for all we endure.

But we know God is creating a masterpiece, an epic magnum opus. And you and I as special needs parents, we were chosen to play our part.

Make sure you are a story worth telling.