a better storyBy
Often people ask me what I do. The answer is pretty straightforward. I help people and organizations live better stories. At least that’s the intent.
To live a better story, the goal must be worthwhile. Thanks to Donald Miller for this. He writes in “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” that wanting a Volvo is not a worthy goal for a good story. A meaningful goal must have some greater good and it must cost something. Giving yourself away for the good of others makes for the beginning of a possibly heroic journey.
This goal leads to the conflict around which a story revolves. Conflict is critical for a compelling story. For a hero to be developing in degrees of niceness from nice to nicer and then nicer still until the end is not a story worth reading or watching. It also is not a story worth living. Ours is not a struggle against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces in high places (Eph 6). We don’t enter into the conflict alone. We would not fair well. We go under the covering of Christ.
Another key to a better story includes better characters. Christ followers should pursue character diversity in their stories. There actually need to be bad people in a good story. These are the ones that Christ died for. These are the people that were often found gathered around Him–the sinners and tax collectors. There will often be an array of characters that look and think differently in a good story. Being involved in the lives of people from other peoples or nations is part of living a better life. Just think how different and bad the Star Wars story would be without the diverse inter-galactic persons. Hans Solo’s bar scene in the desert is compelling because of the unknown.
In our stories we can be the hero, but there is always a far better and much greater Hero. We can be the ones that give ourselves away whether in a time and place of
peril or a period of calm. We know that many have and still more will be martyred for their faith. Regardless of what sacrifice is required of us, a better story requires a selfless abandon. This is key for a hero. But we go out living our story at the command of the one true Hero. His story makes ours possible. Because He has been unfolding a story throughout history better than any master storyteller could conjure up, we have the privilege of playing a small part.
This week I am with the Upstream Collective crew in Western Europe. Our journey will lead us and others to examine and modify our story so that it fits better with the story of God. Follow along as we share some of that journey here and on other sights around the digital neighborhood.