8 Min Read

Living Stories

Published on

June 6, 2022

Why is the art of story telling so powerful?

Right now, especially online, it’s really difficult to gain the audience of anyone, without the ability to tell compelling stories. Nowadays, story telling sells Products, Services, Presidential Aspirants and even Nations. Stories are the wings upon which narratives are dispersed abroad.

In AD 33, a Man who had predicted His own Resurrection while alive had just died. Without the aid of Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, in less than 48hours everyone in Jerusalem and Israel knew of His death was waiting to see of His prediction would come good. Would He rise again from the dead as He had predicted or would he stay dead? Everyone knew about this, it was such a sensational story! The story travelled faster than likes, shares and retweets. So sensational that it was ludicrous to imagine there was anyone in Jerusalem who hadn’t heard of the story.

And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? — Luke 24:18

This thing had only happened for a few days, yet the whole of Jerusalem knew about it. Cleopas even suggested that a total stranger in Jerusalem already knew about this story. Without any PR strategy or campaign, The Lord had the most incredible narrative ever told, on the lips of every single person in Jerusalem and by extension, the Nation of Israel. How did it travel so fast and so far? What makes for virality? What makes stories sell?

One word; Incongruity!

There is nothing exciting about telling someone this for example, “hey guys, watch me closely… I’ll sleep now, but by morning, I’ll wake up… You doubt me? Watch and see!” The reason no one will pay attention to that is because we all have seen that happen too many times to think such a case is “story” worthy. Not to say that waking up each day is any less a miracle, but it’s a miracle we have all rather uncannily gotten familiar with. No one is surprised when you open your mouth to talk, but everyone pays attention when a Donkey begins to speak. Donkeys bearing burdens is very much congruous, but Donkeys speaking intelligently to a Prophet? Now that’s story worthy! Everyone who had ever died, stayed dead, but how does a Man predict His own Resurrection? That’s unheard of!

Incongruity speaks to the wideness of the gulf between the possibility of an occurrence and the instigator of the occurrence. The story about David defeating Goliath went viral so fast that by evening, David already had a fan club crowdfunding to buy him the latest iPhone, needless to say that the club was dominated by older women who sang and danced (reminds me of the Keggites in Awolowo Hall, OAU, Ile-ife) in adulation of David’s exploits. It was such a sensational story because of the incongruity. How does a 17 year old Shepherd Boy defeat an 11.35 feet tall experienced, brave and defiant soldier? That doesn’t come by every day, that’s what makes it a story worth telling. It’s the reason we all love underdog stories! Because there’s an underdog in every single one of us. Our lives are somewhat full of incongruities and that’s why we connect so deeply with such stories!

See what God told the children of Israel? Take the stones from Jordan and just keep them within visible sight in your household. Your children and descendants will see it and ask you one day, “Grandpa, what’s the meaning of these stones you have kept in all the houses you lived in?” Let it be your cue to tell them of the many unforgettable stories of your exodus from Egypt.

You almost wonder why God insists on making some things so “difficult” at times? He could have started the plagues with killing the first borns of the Egyptians and their Cattle, being the most effective plague, which could have gotten Israel out of Egypt in record time? The whole Exodus would have been concluded within hours, instead of the several days it took. But No! God takes it slowly… He’s building up to a Crescendo. He is creating an unforgettable chain of events for His Chosen people.

Or what would you say about an old pensioner who began his faith walk at 75, gave birth to his only “begotten” son at 100 and attempted to kill the same as a sacrifice to the One who had given him the child in the first place, at 117? What’s not to love about his story? How a pagan rudderless man steeped in idolatry, became the Father of Faith; how a tiny Nation by every metric became The Chosen Nation, with God destroying all adversaries mightier than them on their way to the Promised Land! Simply incredible!


It does appear to me, that God intensifies the degree of incongruity in a person’s life, in order to extend the lifespan of the memory of such a life’s story in the minds of everyone who will ever hear it several years down the line! He asked the Israelites to tell the stories of their exodus to their descendants and in telling those stories, they immortalised those transient moments of miracles into everlasting memorials. A forgettable story is forgettable, that’s why it’s forgotten! Imagine being in the same room with an actual witness of the 10 plagues, while he recounts the experience… Now, that’s unforgettable!

It also seems to me, that what God wants to do with your life isn’t something one would hear and say “oh, yeah I heard that before!” What God wants to do with your life is such that the ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. He wants to make eyes pop, when your story is being read!


How does God bring so much beauty out of the embers of ashes and ruins? How does God raise nobility from a herd of peasants? How does God take a “god-forsaken”, corruption-ridden and hanging-in-the-balance kind of Nation, and place them at the epicenter of Global Excellence? How???

Your story wasn’t designed for random chatter, it was orchestrated to be told in the farthest regions of the earth leaving a trail of awe-filled gasps in its wake. But only the incongruities of your life could increase the chances of that story ever going that far.

The same incongruities you bind and loose today, may be the very reasons why someone at the farthest ends of the earth will receive hope and be loosed from his chains tomorrow. Your incongruities are God’s seeds of hope in a world that is bleeding away every ounce of hope left in them.

That’s what makes our Salvation story such an epic one. That God who had no business with mortal men, became a man, just so He could get the chance of saving them. It’s the greatest story ever told. It’s the most incongruous picture; God in pursuit of man!!!

The beautiful thing is that God is still writing stories today, and if you take a peep into His notepad, you’d realise that your life is one of His scripts. You’re literally a Living Story of God!

The incongruities in your life are coming together to form a masterpiece, one that makes for a viral story. Don’t throw in the towel yet, don’t assume you have lived out the whole plot already, oh not yet! There’s a scene in your future, where everything comes together; where you arrive at the palace; where you get married; where your dream comes true; where God takes all the glory.

What a beautiful perspective to have; that the wider the gulf of incongruity in our lives, the greater God’s capacity to turn them into a sensational story of Grace.

Have a beautiful week ahead.

Dami Oguntunde

Listen to push buttons

Don’t want to read you can also listen to our push buttons on