I started to read Donald Miller’s new book yesterday. I quickly finished about 50 pages and was feeling like he was speaking directly to me about one thing, my life. Hitting on a nerve that seems to be very tender at the moment, I was faced with questions that seemed to have no answers. Have you ever read a book and come away more confused then enlightened?
I like what Rob Bell had to say about Don’s new book:
“If someone tells you they’ve read this book and they ‘enjoyed it’ or they ‘liked it’ or they think it’s a ‘good book’ then maybe they didn’t read it–its well written and funny and interesting and all that, but it’s also disturbing, really, really disturbing. Don is into provocative territory here, wrestling with The Story and the role each of our stories play in it….it is very convicting, powerful, unsettling writing. I felt like this book read me more than I read it.
Have you ever wanted to push pause on a book and ask the author a question?
This happens to me all the time. I get so frustrated with not having all the answers that I want to find out exactly what the author was trying to say. I imagine the conversation going something like this, “could you expound on that thought a little more” or “could you break it down for a brotha.” Giving text a chance to breathe is a necessity for me. Often times I rush over a sentence or even a word and miss the entire meaning of the paragraph in my efforts to finish the chapter and the book. I drew a big pause button in Don’s book, I thought it needed to be added. I had to remind myself to slow down and soak up each word, I didn’t want to miss anything about finding my Story, and ultimately my life.
After reading a couple of pages, I to feel that my story meant nothing. If you haven’t read the book I apologize, if you have, you know what I am talking about. In the beginning chapter Don starts to talk about finding the meaning to life in nature, then in a girl, then in a family, etc…as I sat there reading these couple of paragraphs all I could think about was how I wanted that story, I wanted someone else story. Someone who has figured out what they are doing, someone who has a wife and kids and a dog named Jack Bauer. I realized that my story wasn’t much to read or look at and others seemed to be telling a better story. These couple of paragraphs have been paused for the last couple hours. I continue to ask the question in my head, “what if I want someone else story?
I mauled this over for the better part of the night. Thinking about what my story is unfolding, wondering how God is unfolding the narrative that we call life. I cannot help but wonder how many other people are wondering the same thing. “If only I could do….” “If I just had what they had.” “My life would be easy if it was like….” And yet I realize that at this moment all those excuses get in the way of our story. The story that God is writing, the story that we are using to share the hope and salvation that Christ has given us, the story that brings life to others. The fear that grips us when we are called to live out our story can be great enough to hold us back from diving in. I pray that we do not lose our story because we think it is boring or pointless, I pray that you and I can see the story unfolding, the redemptive plan that God is unfolding, and that we can continue to share our story with others.
“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.”–Donald Miller’s A thousand miles in a Million Years
Live out your story