Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Are you telling a compelling story? (part 1)

If someone were to tell the story of your life, today, what would it sound like? Would it be a boring story? Would it be an exciting one? Would it be a story that pleased God? Would it be such a compelling story that others would want to emulate you?

I'm currently in the middle of reading Don Miller's latest book A Million Miles In a Thousand Years. These are the kind of questions that Don asks about his own life and what he learned "while he was editing his life."

The basic structure of a good story is a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it. If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation. In order for a great story to take place, the lead character must undergo change. That change may be one from defeat to victory, addiction to recovery, immorality to morality, hatred to love, or bitterness to forgiveness. If the character doesn't change, then the story still hasn't happened, yet.

For the last 17 months, I have been living a very complicated story, a story that I never thought I would end up living in a thousand years. Some of that story is my fault; a lot of it isn't. But, no matter who is at fault, what matters is how we conduct ourselves in the middle of our own story. In order for the story to take place, we must undergo transformation. I haven't always been successful, but I have attempted to live a life of integrity and honor in the midst of a crazy story. I have allowed transformation to take place through the working of the Holy Spirit and God's Word. I pray that is enough and that God accomplishes His purposes through me, whatever they may be.

Today is a big day for my story. An entire chapter will probably be written in one day that will impact all the chapters that follow. What happens today will determine what the future chapters are going to read like for myself and for those around me. Someday, I hope to share my story with you.

One day, unless the Lord returns soon, we are all going to die. A preacher, and maybe some of your family and friends are going to stand before a crowd of mourners and tell the story of your life. What do you think they are going to say about your story? Will they have little to say because you really didn't live a very compelling story? Perhaps you have been living a life of selfishness. You haven't really pursued a life that would be telling a story of God's amazing love for you and how that love is demonstrated in the life of a follower of Christ. You haven't truly displayed the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). As you live out your life, consider that your story will be told by someone one day. Are you giving those who will tell your story a really awesome one to retell, or a tragedy?

So, how about you? Are you a character in a story that wants something and is trying to overcome some conflict? Examine your story. Is it time for you to edit your life? Is it time to write a more compelling story? Are you willing to undergo character transformation in order to tell a better story?

Do you have a story to tell? If so, I'd love to hear it. Just leave me a comment below.

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