This is a simple and very tactile way to think about how our past and our environment shape the person we are, yet in Christ we do not need to be defined by that.
You will need:
A long chenille stick for each person.
Affiliate links: The flags will take you to supplies from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com. Anything you buy in that session will help to support this ministry and keep it free. So feel free to order a Monet to cover up that stain on your wall.
Make bends in your chenille stick to divide it into thirds. Each section represents a part of your ancestry.
For the first section, think about your genetic make up – the way you look, your talents and abilities, your innate personality. This is the foundation of who you are. Shape the first section to represent that. For example, a resilient person might make a spring shape, or a worrier might make a tangled knot.
The second section represents your surroundings – your culture, your family and friends. How have these affected who you are today? How important are the beliefs and traditions you were brought up with? How has your peer group changed you? Shape the second section to reflect how you have been shaped.
The rest of the stick is for your life experiences. These are some of the most formative parts of life, both for good and for bad. Think through your strongest memories – some will be happy and others sad – but each will have added something to who you are now, and form a shape to represent it.
When you have finished making your shapes, set down your chenille stick and look at it. This is what you are now – what you have become though what has been. But the shape is not permanent. The future will always be affected by the past, but is not determined by it. Despite and because of what you have become, God’s purpose for you is “more than you could ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20).
Take your chenille stick and open it out. It will not go back completely straight again, but it does not need to hold the shape of its past for ever. Form it into a new shape that represents your place in God’s kingdom as a beloved son or daughter of the King.
- Gen 32 & 35 – Jacob renamed Israel
- Exodus 3 – Moses’s call and the burning bush
- John 3 – Nicodemus
- Acts 9 – Saul – Paul’s conversion
- Acts 10:9-16 – Peter’s vision of a sheet
- 1 Cor 6:11 – some of you once lived this way
- Eph 3:20 – immeasurably more
- Eph 5:8 – once you were in darkness, but now
- 1 Pet 2:10 – once you had not received mercy, but now