Back Story

In my work and ministry I hear many people’s life stories. They speak about where they were born and their immediate families. It’s a fact that none of us choose where we are born and the families we are placed in!

They share many stories of hours spent growing up. The numerous midlife adjustments that have to be made for whatever reason. Then there is the dramatic period that leads up to a present time or the ending of a long and full life.


In the film industry a Back Story is one that leads up to a main story or plot that is used in a film or drama. It’s a history or a background that is created for fictional characters. It portrays a particular set of events which is then outworked in the drama to be shown or performed.

The idea of the Back Story is to add a depth of meaning to the overall story being offered. It will be used partially or completely as the main narrative opens up. It will also be revealed through various forms such as a flashback or dialogue. A narration or summary. Some recollections and exposition.

I wonder whether you are a film or TV buff. You may have a particular favourite one that you often view, or a number of sequels that excite you and even a prequel of that film or programme that encompasses an assumed Back Story. I recently went to see the film ‘Hail Caesar’ which was quite an interesting one to watch!

toy story

As we approach Easter the Christian recalls the full and real life story of Jesus Christ. His life in Heaven, his ministry on earth. His miraculous resurrection and a return to Heaven and a promise of a further return to earth in the course of time.

Personally I would love to see an epic film made of the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul and various sequels that depicted his impact throughout the Mediterranean and further afield.


Pauls’ real Back Story

He was born into a Jewish family which enabled him to enjoy a Roman citizenship in a strongly Greek culture.

He was promoted to be a High priest and to arrest Christians in the city of Damascus and personally witnessed the stoning of Stephen.

Middle Story

Paul’s life dramatically changed on that road to Damascus. He spent three years in relative isolation in Arabia and around ten years quietly practising his faith away from the early church leaders. Then for about 12 years he was very much instrumental in establishing and encouraging many of the new churches that emerged throughout Asia Minor and beyond.

Front Story

Paul was an amazing teacher full of insight seeking to apply the teachings of Christ in many difficult, ethical, political and social circumstances. He became a leader of the early church and because of it was persecuted, shipwrecked and placed in prison and house arrest in Caesarea and Rome. During such restrictions he wrote many of the New Testament letters to various churches.

I wonder if you were asked to compose your own life story how you would present your early, mid and present life?

Create life story

I recently found this BBC article which refers to Heather Lende a lady from Haines Alaska. Heather had a very important role in composing people’s Obituary’s for over twenty years and shares five tips for a happy life.

You might want to give thanks for a wonderful family and upbringing which enabled you to have a very happy and successful life!

You may want to dwell on the fact that you have had a very difficult start to life and everything seems to be troublesome and happiness is an allusion which only others enjoy!

You might want to highlight romance, drama, fortune and misfortune. However, what we write about ourselves is never the complete story, for it is up to others around us to add to our story for better or for worse.

In thinking of our own life journey it may reinforce any positives or negatives that drive us in our day to day thinking and acting.

It’s important to review and refresh how we think and where we are moving to. If needed we may want to reorder the script. We do not need to spend lots of time trying to rewrite it so as to impress others. We have to be real, not living in our own fictional and self-deluded world, so as to navigate all the highs and the lows that life brings to us all.

It’s important to appreciate all that we have and to make sure that our present and future stories may be the best they can be for our own well-being and the joy and delight of family and friends around us.

So enjoy your favourite film or TV programme, the original, sequel and prequel!

Remember afresh the real meaning of Easter, the back, front and continuing story of Christ.


Happy Easter

For further reading hit the links below for the second edition of my book Blog 51 (October 2020) in black and white or colour

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