I just got done reading this book, by Donald Miller, for work. My boss encouraged the leadership team to read it & boy am I glad he did. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Donald Miller, he wrote to book Blue Like Jazz among other books. This book is about how these 2 screen writers wanted to turn his story (from blue like jazz) into a movie!
I learned a lot from this book & encourage you to read it. It’s all about STORY and how God is our storyteller. It makes you think about your life more as a story than just going through regular mundane tasks. It has encouraged me to want to LIVE a better story & to bring people INTO my story. God has given us our story & put us into the story, into HIS story. We can live in fear or we can live knowing that we can make a difference. We have to TRUST that God can write a better story for us than we can, man that one really hit me. I think I try to create my life & leave God out of it sometimes thinking I can do a better job. But HE alone knows the days of my life & will guide me through my life.
It talks a lot about making Donald’s story into a movie & how in every good movie there is an “inciting incident” – something that disrupts our comfort that MAKES us enter into a story. This reminded me of first when we moved to Midland & then when Stephen got laid off. He never would have quit his job to go out on his own but because he was forced to he entered into his story! He wouldn’t have it any other way now. I love this quote about fear ” fear isn’t only a guide to keep us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life”. We can sit around & be afraid to do something – or we can follow what the Word of God says over 200 times and “Do not fear”. WOW!
I was also convicted about watching TV. There is a quote in here that says “a story is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling the people around us what we think is important.” Among the many things I spend a lot of time doing, TV is one that I’m not proud of. This convicted me!
Something else I can relate to is idea that pain is all apart of future joy (the character arc). If we skip out on the “story” and all the hard times/pain and go straight to the joy, we might not appreciate the joy nor will our character be built up during that process. There are some things in my life right now that after reading this – seem exciting. Hard times that I know one day will be times of JOY & I know that the process is only refining me. Donald says, ” the whole point of the story is the character arc. You didn’t think joy could change a person, did you? Joy is what you feel when the conflict is over. But it’s conflict that changes a person.” love that!
Totally unrelated, but there was another thought in this book that resonated with me. It says “when you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” WOW. conviction! I have very high expectations for myself first, and those I love most second. I know it’s wrong- and this really has made me think differently about why I have such high expectations for people and how I need to get over it.
Finally, there were some great stories of people in this book who just made things happen. They had “memorable scenes” in their life. Instead of sitting at home on the couch, they got up and did something. They created memories with their friends & family. They brought people INTO their story.
If I haven’t told you it all already, please go buy the book! You will thank me later. I’ve talked to several people about it & we all got different things out of it. It’s a quick read – so go pick it up today!