Kevin Brennfleck,and Kay Marie Brennfleck
National Certified Career Counselors
Donald Miller (the author of Blue Like Jazz) describes how the rules or principles in storytelling are also the rules for living a meaningful life. In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, Miller says, “If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn't remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.
But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. 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”
Here are the elements of a great story that also can lead to living a great, meaningful life::
A Dream or Passion: The main character-that is, you-must want something. You must have a dream that is worthy of your God-given design. For most people this includes finding work that is a calling instead of just a job; work that is engaging, meaningful and meets needs that matter to you.
Conflict: Getting the "something" you want will require going through conflict. Another way to look at this is to realize that any dream or calling worth pursuing will take you out of your comfort zone. There will be times when you don't know if you can do it on your own, which is exactly how God intends it to be. He wants you to depend on His power, and not your own. God uses struggles to grow and develop you into the person He created you to be. Romans 5:3-4 says "... because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
Conflict and difficulties change you. Instead of thinking that conflict and difficulties are negative, try looking at them as means by which God will mold you and help you live a better story. Moving out of your comfort zone and taking more risks in your life may lead to some challenges, but will also result in your telling a better story with your life.
Sacrifice: In a great epic story, it takes sacrifice for the character to pursue his or her mission in life. Jesus modeled this by coming to earth to serve rather than to be served. Jesus gave his life on the cross so that we could tell great stories with our lives. His life is the greatest story that will ever be told. Ultimately your greatest joy and satisfaction in life will come as you use your gifts and abilities to serve a world in great need.
What story is your life telling? Would you like to be telling a story with your life that you are passionate about? We would love to help you take the next steps to discover and live the story God put you on earth to tell. You can learn more here.
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