Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Better Story

I read this book the other day. That is the first attractive point of many about 'A Million Miles In A Thousand Years". It is eminently readable. Hence I read it in less than 24 hours (and I did other stuff, too).

This is not a book review. I just want to tell you what this book inspired me about. I have been encouraged to live a better story.

We are all living stories. We face conflicts, decisions and choices and then we go on the resolutions. Not always Hollywood neatly tied bow resolutions, but outcomes, all the same.

I actually think that most of the time we feel that we stuck in certain stories or we lack awareness of or perspective on our stories. Many of us feel the choices or the pressures are outside us, in someone else's hands.

Miller talked about a friend who chose to live a better story by deciding to start building an orphanage overseas. His decision, and talking to his family about it lead to changes in his marriage and in his daughter's life. He chose 'a better story' for the family. And he was deliberate in his choice.

Part of choosing a better story is knowing where we fit in the metanarrative (if I can use a buzz-word correctly?) The big story of the world is in relation to God - creation, fall, redemption and hope. And if I keep that in mind, I can be more deliberate in choosing a better story. I want to live a story that embodies redemption and hope.

Sometimes I wonder if my life is too safe and middle class. That I work and spend time with my family and my church. But where is the sacrifice in my life? Where is the taking up my cross? I know we all have these fears. Most Christians wonder 'Am I doing enough?' in some form or other. Because we want to make sure God will love us or that other Christians will acknowledge our salvation.

When I think like that I'm in a tough story.

A redemptive, hopeful story is different to that. Sometimes I glimpse it, but most of the time I'm still trying to puzzle it out.

Miller made the point that we can do all sorts of things, live all sorts of stories in our imaginations, but what really matters is what we say and do. So much of my thinking remains unsaid, and undone. And as a consequence it is unreal. It does not really exist. The first step to living a better story is to talk about hope and redemption, to start doing hopeful and redemptive things.

To be practical - I need to pray instead of thinking about praying.

1 comment:

sophg said...

Hey Kath, I was just thinking about this today. And I was reading Blue Like Jazz, but Miller! I want to live a better story. Sometimes I feel like my story is also really comfortable and convenient, not particularly Jesus-shaped at all.