I've been thinking about story and have recently been reminded of one of my favourite writers...Donald Miller...
I remember listening to a talk he gave about story, and one point I loved was when he asked the audience to think about their life as a movie, and if their life was made into a movie what would the tag line be... essentially the summary of your life...
Would it be along the lines of any of these...
' Will Ron ever get their (enter amazing car i have no idea about name here) ???'
' Will Penelope ever get that amazing, beauitful body shape she always dreamed of?'
' Will Steve ever beat all the rest, do whatever it takes to get to the top?'
' How will the Joneses ever afford to send little Jimmy to that amazing posh-o school?"
I know what your thinking... what absolute piles of crap those movies would be. And i guess that was the point of the talk, if you really thought about it, and were really honest what would your tag line be... and would it bore you to death or would it send you rushing for the popcorn again and again because you just couldn't get enough of it?
I have friends with amazing stories, and I mean amazing. I have friends in Canada who packed up themselves and their four kids, flew to Thaliand and worked for a whole year as a family, ministering in ways that were so exciting. I would totally watch that movie.
I have family and friends living on the worst housing estates in bristol living in community and transforming the community around them in ways that are so radical and so simple that it can only be God driven. They still live there even though kids have thrown fireworks at them. I would definitely watch that movie.
I have watched young people choose not to take drugs and not get drunk but still spend time at parties with friends who do. I would love that movie.
I have family who have spent unnumerable amounts of hours round cups of tea, glasses of wine, pints of beer and lots and lots of cake crying with, counselling and generally just listening to so many tens and hundreds of people. Imagine the wisdom they have. I would absolutely see that movie.
I listened to a man at the weekend who at 17 had a dream to get a huge ship and sail it round the world with other christians ministering in every country across the globe. He is 72 and operation mobilization is still going. That would be one epic movie
I have a friend who wanted to study in New York, and even though it didn't work the first time she didn't give up and tried again and did it. One day i am pretty convinced she will be recognised on a huge scale as an awesome film maker. Her story would be heart warming and i would totally watch the movie she would make of it ;)
Then i think about my tag line...my movie. I am only 24 its not like i feel there is much a movie in the making yet...but what if one day there was? Would there be an awesome story line, full of excitement, tradgey, love, heart break, challenge...any of those?!
I suppose we all can't live epic Lord of the Rings trilogy lives (though how awesome would that be!?) But when I think about the amazing story we are a part of, the one of creation born out of true, pure love...the one where He dies so we live... the one where we are asked to follow Him... where we are chosen to be set apart how can you not be inspired to fufill that story in amazing, exciting ways?
I phrase i heard last week was this.. ' Christians are suffering with a poverty of vision.'
I think that is so true, for so many of us... we are starving for a big, epic, all God ecompassing story... Not just one of those short lived, makes you feel all fuzzy Hugh Grant type movies...I am not really talking about those huge, multi billion coming right at your face Avatar flicks either... i am talking about your budget, no hype needed, understated films that don't need any of that big production value, don't need your 3D, HD blu-ray crap because purely and simply they tell an amazing story. That is what I think I am craving... I can't live in this poverty of vision... I unashamedly want more. I am starving.
So, what is your tag line?
What is your story?
And would sit there and watch it over and over and over again?
Food for thought my friends