Continuing thoughts go thru my mind from Donald Miller's Storyline conference...
Don made a comment at the conference that I wrote down in quotes, "The erosion of values has brought with it a corresponding erosion of story."
His thoughts go like this...we are all writing a story with our life, a narrative of a life lived with or without God. We don't have a choice whether to write a story or not...we just are! We get to choose most of the scenes of our story, and even more, choose what kind of character we play in the story. Our biggest choices come when we choose what our character does in each scene....do we want a character that makes the story better, more fulfilling, or a character that ruins the storyline and degrades the moral of the story?
This has helped me think through a longer-term vision for my own life, asking myself what I want a book to read like at the end of my life. If no one knew me through my life, would there be a worthwhile story to tell? What did I do? What did I change for the better? What lives did I save? What effect did I have on the environment around me? Was I damaging to other stories being written in other lives? Did I help other stories get even better?
As our values, morals, expectations and principles erode...so goes the story. As we take more agency from God and not share it with Him in always writing a story of the Gospel, the story becomes selfish and uninteresting to the whole of society. Think about it...Bono and other actors get alot of attention when doing social justice work for others...why? Because our society likes stories about Good Guys. Though the media makes you think we like the bad guy, deep down, people like the good guy...the one writing good stories about saved lives. This is an elevation of values and morals and our culture loves to read/hear about it. This is the storyline that Christ-followers should be leading the charge on...."saved lives" (spiritually and physically).
So as followers of Christ, why do we put down the pen of life? Why do we let others write our story, or worse, choose a character that ruins the story in the long-run? The obvious answer is "sin"....but that's the easy way out and blames it on something out of our control. We DO have the ability to choose our character's actions in the story about us. Do we want a character that has high morals and values and seeks to change other's lives or one that is constantly ruining the story? What if The Terminator had chosen to give in to the machines and just kill humanity? Would that have sold tickets? What if Rocky decided to teach ballet? Who wants to watch that?
What is my character want to do with God in shared-agency with Him? What lives can I change/save? How could my character actually screw up the story if I'm not careful? What is my story about? How does my character make other stories better, not worse?
These are huge questions to ask, overwhelming....but then again, life is huge...we live it once. What are you writing with your life?