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 to 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 be 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
I just finished listening to a sermon series by Steven Furtick called “Living a better story“. <— listen/watch here.
He draws inspiration from a book by Donald Miller called “A million miles in a thousand years”, where Miller outlines the basic concept of story.
You have a character, who wants something, and overcomes conflict to get it.
Sounds like a pretty good template for looking at a life as well.
Straight away from first principles we can isolate things that go wrong with our stories.
We might have the wrong character. Or even the wrong MAIN character.
What we want might not be worth enough.
And we might try and avoid conflict, when it might actually be the conflict in our lives that brings about the ending that we desire.
Something that has been so helpful to me in the series is part 3, where he shares a message entitled “Cancel the audition”.
So often we live our lives lacking confidence and security, and seeking to impress someone. As a Christian sometimes it can be the same. I get that God is good. I get that I’m not. But it’s so easy for me to try and earn God’s favour. And it always ends up with an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy.
But that’s not it.
We were chosen by God to play our part in History (His story – cheesy I know) before we even did anything. So why do we try so hard?
Knowing we have God’s approval doesn’t mean we don’t have to try anymore, it just means we don’t have to “try out”. We’re free to live the part we’re called to play.