Thursday, April 29, 2010

our place in God's story and the story of our lives

So I'm reading this book that's a little out of my normal reading list right now. It's called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I had read one of his books a while back so when this one looked interesting I picked it up. It has been a good read so far. The book is about making a part of his life into a movie. They spend a lot of time talking about story - about character, plot, conflict, etc. - not exactly something you would expect a business major to enjoy reading about (I took my one required English Literature class to graduate and did just well enough).

In the book, Miller often relates the concepts of a story to the lives God has given us to live. God has created a story that is unfolding and then He has created us and placed us in that story. I read something in the book yesterday that really struck me at the time.

When Steve, Ben, and I wrote our characters into the screenplay, I felt the way I hope God feels as he writes the world, sitting over the planets and placing tiny people in tiny wombs. I f I have a hope, it's that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.
I've wondered, though, if one of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don't want the responsibility inherent in the acknowledgement. We don't want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn't remarkable, then we don't have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims rather than grateful participants.
But I've noticed something. I've never walked out of a meaningless movie thinking all movies are meaningless. I only thought the movie I walked out was meaningless. I wonder, then, if when people say life is meaningless, what they really mean is their lives are meaningless. I wonder if they've chosen to believe their whole existence is unremarkable, and are projecting their dreary life on the rest of us. (pg. 59-60)
I especially liked the line that said: "Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it mean you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you." God created us to enjoy the story He has given us. He wants us to find joy in living life. We have place in God's larger story. And we have the story of our own lives that we are part of, and that God allows us freedom to create for ourselves.

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