Living a Good Story

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14

“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on and think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.” (Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes the days seem to loose their meaning. We wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, come home, do homework and go to bed. The everyday rhythms of ordinary life begin to steal the meaning and abundance from us before we even notice it.

We get caught in the silly minute stories of life- the stories that won’t be worth telling in ten years, because in all honestly, no one does cry at the end of a story about someone who works hard to buy a Volvo and then gets us.

The scriptures tell us that we are but a mist on this Earth. Our time, our lives, here on Earth are just a small speck in the perspective of eternity- but once our story is written, it’s written forever. As we grow up, phases of life come to a close and all we are left with is the story of them… and who wants to be stuck with a boring story to tell?

Often times we find ourselves in stories we don’t want to be part of just because they happen to be the best story available to us and we are struggling to give our tiny lives meaning. The author Donald Miller says a good story is about a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.

Are you finding yourself in the middle of a not so great story, or even just a boring one? Then go after something with all you have. Set goals and reach them. Learn a new skill or try and reach out to someone who doesn’t have a lot of friends.

It won’t always be easy- part of the good story is overcoming the conflict. Think about Joseph in the Bible; he was sold into slavery by his own brothers, put into a position of power, wrongly accused by a seductive woman, thrown into jail, forgotten by a man who promised to free him, until he eventually helped saved the nation of Egypt. None of that sounds easy! But Joseph was committed to living a good story- even when times were hard.

If you’re stuck in the rut of a not so good story of life- take heart! God sent His only Son to bring us back to Him and to invite us into the unfolding story; THE story that He has written that we are all invited to take a part in. All we have to do is say yes!

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