As the New Year, and new decade approaches, I'm not making any New Year's resolutions. These super-hyped, trendy-faux goals can end up becoming self serving to-do lists that end up causing guilt in hindsight come February. Besides, I have enough things to do on a day-to-day basis. Instead, I'm seeking out a better story--to intentionally live life with moxy. Inspired by Donald Miller's new book, A Thousand Miles in a Million Years, I've connected some serious dots with my love of art/film/books to real life. I truly recommend you get disturbed by this piece of work, what I think is one of the best books of the year. It woke me up and reminded me that I'm not just living for the perfect American dream: nice house/car, big paycheck, and 2.5 kids..nor am I living for the American Christian dream: comfort and security. I'm living for that "silver screen experience." It's what we all spend $10.50 for:, (minus the popcorn and sticky floor) action, complexity, ambition, sacrifice, and satisfaction when the credits roll. Except in real life it takes a lot longer than a mere two hours. A good life story takes years and years of wrestling with pain, addressing fears with courage, pursuing meaningful relationships and serving others in a way that costs and costs big time. It's trusting that in the messy process of learning to forgive, denying self, fighting for justice, loving family, enduring pain, and complaining about delayed flights-our character is transformed. And that's the point of a good story..and the point of a life: character transformation. Thanks to Donald Miller for that reminder. So, when I spoke this past Sunday I tried to weave all these things I was learning into a conversation to share with our church and created an artistic space for us to express our stories. It was a memorable time. I was completely inspired and felt like a photographer in a dark room putting together an exhibition. I invited the church to think about our life in scenes, by reflecting through piles of pictures and images. We identified "inciting incidents' in which we were forever changed by some pain, challenge, or obstacle in which we were undoubtedly propelled into action, into living a good story. We then journaled, drew, or wrote on these images to tell a collective story together and hung them up on a "story line." My hope is that we as God's people choose to submit our stories to each other, too, sharing and spurring one another on in our journeys. Listen to my message here.
Memorable concepts from the book:
The most important elements in a movie is the story.
There is purpose in every scene, every line.
A movie is moving-going somewhere.
With out story experiences are just random.
The same elements that are important to a story are important to life.
To know your story, ask yourself what you want in life. If we don’t want anything, we are living boring lives. If all we want is “stuff,” we are living vain lives.
When we live a story we are telling others around us what we think is important.
Nobody remembers easy stories, Characters must face fears with courage.
Happy & sad things in life are used to color the story.
TELL A GOOD STORY WITH YOUR LIFE
Plan your story with God, and live it intentionally
Good stories don’t happen by accident
Story: a character who wants something & overcomes conflict to get it
Map out a story for your life. Map out a story for your family. Live story.
We are designed to live through something, not just attain something.
The point of the story is the character arc, the change
The point of the story is never the ending, it's the hard work and character molding in the middle that helps us appreciate the ending.
Really good stories are not full of security and comfort, but change & action.
There is an “inciting incident” which forces the character to move, to face fear and conflict
God wants us to live beautiful stories, but there are forces at work against us.
From Facebook see Video on my blog here: