Shaping Our Story to Live a Better Life

What I Learned While Editing My Life

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller

Donald Miller believes that we can use what we know about storytelling to live better lives.

He writes, “If Steve was right about a good story being a condensed version of life – that is, if story is just like life without the meaningless scenes – I wondered if life could be lived more like  a good story in the first place. I wondered whether a person could plan a story for his life and live it intentionally.” 

We are all Characters in a Story

I think this goes beyond metaphor. We tell stories all the time, stories of our day, stories of how we got into our professions, and stories about our families. It makes sense that we are all characters and that someone wrote us into existence.

“If 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 am not a religious man. However, I have always felt that there is a lot of truth in fiction. And while I disagree with a lot of spiritual texts, I agree with what Millers writes here . . .

“I like the part of the Bible that talks about God speaking the world into existence, as thought everything we see and feel were sentences from his mouth . . .

I feel written, My skin feels written, and my desires feel written . . .”

The Ultimate Writer 

I am a writer and I have created characters who have moved my stories in ways that I have never imagined the story going. They make choices, they say things, and they direct the story. And these are fiction characters that I should have complete control over. And yet, somehow I don’t.

That is why I don’t believe that anything is written in stone. We can all shape our personal story. The ultimate writer, as I call him, doesn’t have complete power over us.

“You can call it God or a conscience, or you can dismiss it as that intuitive knowing we all have a human beings, as living storytellers; but there is a knowing I feel that guides me toward better stories, toward being a better character.

I believe there is a writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us, interacting with us, even, and whispering a better story into our consciousness.”

I agree!

We Can Control Our Own Story

Donald Millers admits that we don’t have a lot of control in our lives. He writes . . .

“I don’t know if anybody actually writes his or her own story in real life. It’s an odd thing to talk about, because while we control our destiny, it’s a limited control in so many ways. . .

as real life protagonists we can control only control what we do and say, what choices we make, what words we say. The rest is up to fate. And so life has positive and negative turns.”

So, even with limited control, we can affect change in some big ways. We can lead a live with purpose.

Life Has Purpose

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t matter and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a calling, then, to speak a better story.”

I am determined to live a better story, How about you?

My List of 2015 Reads – my reading log for the year with links to every title

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