Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Story

I just finished A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller. Miller is, of course, a brilliant storyteller and the book was an enjoyable read. The book is about the story that each of us tells with our life, and how to tell (live) a better story. Miller has been criticized by some of telling people that unless you are telling an epic with your life, something that could be made into a blockbuster movie, they are wasting their lives.

One of the bloggers that I read seems to, at first glance, come from the opposite side of the spectrum. Pam has written a number of posts about the dignity of living an ordinary (some would say boring) life. I would guess there are some who would say that Pam is telling folks that it's okay to live without ambition and just do whatever, never aspiring to anything big.

I think that both of them are on the right track. When I read Donald Miller's book, I hear him telling me to not be afraid to take risks in my life, to trust God when I hear him telling me to do something. When I read Pam's blog, I hear her telling me that it's okay to be where God has called me to be, that not everyone is called to the spotlight. Sometimes trusting God and taking risks involves giving up what the big time to live a story that takes place outside of the mainstream. Pam tells this story that makes the point.

I could very easily have read Miller's book and felt bad because the epic story I wanted to write with my life (competing in the Olympics, coaching college basketball and winning championships) has not come to pass. But I have come to realize that my story, and how it fits into God's story, is one of trying to be a good husband and father, and serving others in the places God puts me. I can still live a good story ( and try to tell a better one). I think that following Jesus involves risks, regardless of where he takes us.

I believe that Donald and Pam are both right. We are called to live the best story we can, whether it's a story that ends up in a book, or a story that gets told when our family and friends think about us.

2 comments:

Jeff McQ said...

I kind of think Pam's and Donald's viewpoints might not be opposing views, either. Living a better story doesn't necessarily mean it has to be something everybody's going to want to read about someday. I do think it has something to do with the quality of our life, living in the moment, being willing to embrace challenges personally. That can, and should, be done in the everyday existence as much as in the more dramatic moments.

The other thing I believe is that no matter how "boring" someone thinks their life might be...everyone has a story. Someone who is watching our story unfold from the outside might be captivated by elements we think are dull...and what seems mundane to us can be absolutely heroic in the eyes of others.

co_heir said...

Very true Jeff. We don't really know how our story affects others.

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