Living Life as Story

By November 2, 2009 culture, faith No Comments

You’ve likely noticed the themes of creativity and story appearing here recently. Our book club has been pondering Luci Shaw’s Breath for the Bones, which follows creativity’s footprint throughout our lives and identifies God’s embedding of story and drama throughout history. We’ve pondered metaphor and parable and analogy; we’ve met the God of Story, and we’ve celebrated imagination.

As is often the case when the heart is ruminating on a topic, the topic begins to emerge in all sorts of ways and in unlikely places. So it is for me with the themes of creativity and story—I have started to see them pop up again and again. God is opening my awareness to how true it is that history is truly HisStory.

Story was front-and-center again last week, in a presentation by author Donald Miller. I had the pleasure of attending his book tour stop for his latest release, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years—which ponders the nuances of life as story and ourselves as the characters in that story.

Here are a few notes from his talk:

A good story requires sacrifice and conflict.

If our lives are to be a good story, one that tells much of Jesus Christ the Author of our faith, we cannot shrink back from sacrifice or conflict. It will take sacrifice to conquer conflict.

God has introduced conflict into our lives, into our stories . . . and that conflict does not disappear by walking with God. How we handle conflict will affect the beauty of our story.

God is calling us to pick up our pens and continue to write a good story with our very lives.

What has stayed in my heart from Miller’s talk is the encouragement to live with passion for God’s name. Even when my heart is tugged upon to act or speak or write in a way that will help others and tangibly show the love of God, I tend to hang back. The reasons are many, but when they are lined up in text, I see them for what they are: excuses rooted in fear.

Miller prods us, as followers of Christ, to get involved in the script of our lives. As a follower of Christ, as one who has been bought and redeemed for His Story, I should be all the more free to take chances in this story and place my trust in God who is at once the Director, Author, Manager, and Audience.

I am a terrible actress, so I take comfort in the reality that life is no game of make believe, reserved for those who are talented thespians. Life is real; it is more than a play. But as each day (each scene?) unfolds, I can take my cues from the God who lovingly watches my every move and listens to my every line and coaches me to live a better story.

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