What’s Your Story?!?!

Donald Miller has just been constantly rocking my world lately. I’ve finished Blue Like Jazz and went back and have been relistening to a message he gave at this year’s Orange conference. It’s all about story and narrative and dialing in our internal compass. It’s truly wonderful. I wanted to pass along a bit of it to those interested and see if this strikes true to anyone else…

So, Miller argues that just as Creeds are important and significant in helping us figure out our theology and what we believe in that so are narratives and stories. Honestly, isn’t the Bible made up of narrative stories that instead of telling us how to live, paint a picture of more what or why to live a certain way. I personally find this to resonate because all growing up the Bible was referred to the answer book to all my questions, however, I didn’t find any of the answers to the questions I was asking. Miller would suggest that I was asking the wrong questions. HOW TO questions (which I was) like “how do I date correctly” or “how do I become successful in school” and such. Instead the Bible is full of WHY answers.

More on point: we become enamored with story and narrative. Within it, we find direction for how we should live. People we don’t want to be like: Jonah perhaps. People we would desire to be like: Joseph perhaps. From which Miller makes the argument that the elements of a good story should also be the elements that make up our lives. The important ones he shared with us are:

1. A Protagonist That Wants Something – in our culture that might sound bad but ambition and desire aren’t necessarily bad. The test Miller says to check your ambition against is: what dream dies with the protagonist? Is your desire to make a lot of money to buy a new Mustang convertible? What’s the consequence of not fulfilling your dream? How about desiring to plant 1000 fresh water wells in Africa? What’s the consequence of not fulfilling your dream? Is your story a page turner? Is it significant?

2. Conflict – Inevitable (and I attest to this) once you desire something, you will experience conflict. So plan for it. Map out potential pitfalls and problems and then don’t be surprised when something comes in your way.

3. Resolution – Our pastor always tells everyone who’s going to speak in front of the congregation to know the last line they want to say! No matter if they’re preaching, giving announcements, anything! Know the last line. Every story needs a resolution. Then win or loose, you start a new story.

The climax, the end scene that makes the whole movie is always so pertinent. In the story of your overall life, Miller suggests that the climax scene is hearing “Well done! Good and faithful!” from the One who we ultimate tell our story to every day. It’s what we do now to lead up to that moment in life, to make those words true and a reality that truly matter.

So what story are you living out?

2 Responses to “What’s Your Story?!?!”

  1. August 21, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Yeah, narrative is a powerful thing. My wife and I have been reading Mark Batterson’s In a pit… Today this line stuck out and us and I underlined it:

    “Live you life in a way that is worth telling stories about.”

  2. August 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Oh yeah that’s awesome. Right in line with Miller 🙂

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