A good fire seems to bring out great stories. Whether in a small cabin, a cozy living room, under the stars or around a good cigar. There is something about sitting around a fire that makes us talk. For some reason when we can stare into a fire we can share things that we don’t talk about anywhere else. It is amazing what we will discuss when we are focusing on a fire and not on the mechanisms we have built to hide behind.
Here are 4 actual quotes from a recent fireside moment –
“That’s when she told me…”
“He completely walked away from Jesus after that…”
“I knew then…”
“And that is how I found him…”
These are from real conversations that started by asking “What brought you here?” or “Tell me about you.” Simple questions often produce amazing moments. Around the fire there is a lot of commonality. We can see ourselves in each other and we hear parts of our story in the stories of others. Around the fire it seems fitting to ask about deeper things, to lean into parts of another’s story because in this moment we realize how much we share and how much we have in common.
There is something about a fire that makes us feel like we can talk about things that don’t have any other place to be talked about. For a lot of men, NCS is like a fire. You can pull up close, sit and listen and when the time is right, you can share and know it is a safe place.
“What is your Story?” at face value is a simple history lesson, but in a wider context the same question is asking “what is the most significant thing you have experienced?” “What is the most important thing you have learned?” “What is your Story?” Asks about who you are, where you came from and what things do you value.
In six weeks we will be gathering in Orlando, Florida for the NCS National Retreat. Our theme is “What is your Story?” You are going to hear some amazing stories and you will have some moments around the fire. The weekend is built for moments like this, moments of connection and fellowship, moments where we realize how much we are alike and moments that lead us to be new men. The journey for us in NCS is the journey to be both known and loved and the power of learning we are not alone.
– James Anderson