Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'll be writing a lot here at renown in the near future about story. Most people don't realize it, but story is central to most of reality (life, theology, etc...). Story (in the technical literary sense) is way BIGGER than most people realize. This is one reason why Braveheart is my fav movie & the fav movie of every red-blooded male (and other epic stories like it). Anyway, in the next month or so I plan on writing in detail about this phenomenon that dominates all of reality... story.

I was reminded that I haven't written about this because I am rereading Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. I Read it about 3 years ago when i was sick one week. I just read it as a "fun" book to have some entertainment while I was sick, but now I'm reading it again more intentionally to take stuff away. For those of you who don't know, the reason this reminded me to write about story is that Donald Miller, like me is a big proponent of STORY. (Miller is the best-selling author of several books & is from the Imago Dei Community where the very funny & teddy bear-like, Rick McKinley is pastor.)

So, I recently listened to a talk by him at Mars Hill (the G-Rap version with Rob Bell) & it was PIMP! So, although I don't have time to share all my thoughts on Story (YET!), I'll share my takeaways from his talk.

- side note thought that made me chuckle = the Bible is the only story we read that we say needs to mean something else. Like, David's 5 stones were JUST stones; they don't stand for anything. "The story is powerful enough." We don't look for some 'hidden' point in most stories, so why do we do this with the Bible?? If God doesn't say what this 'hidden' point is why should we?

- Miller challenged us to think of MY story. Would I even like my character?

- What even is YOUR story? Trying to work a lot and save up for a new car?!?? Imagine a movie about that!!! [what a horrible story]
- If my character/story dies what dreams would die with me? What ceases to happen? How would the world be any different? [If it wouldn't then then your story is probably crappy.]

- [I love this] = "God is trying to write a good story with my life so He says "Hey Don, peeps are dying in Africa... what are you going to do with your story?" - "I'm gonna buy a Volvo." and God's gotta be like "No, no, no... highlight, delete." That's just not a good story.

So, before I write a lot about story (in the technical literary sense) I just want to say: man, have a freakin' sweet story! if you're like "i'm gonna buy a Volvo!" then that story straight up sucks! Are you sitting there in front of your computer telling me that that's what you want your story to be? The American Dream? No adventure, no conflict, no risk, nothing bigger than yourself? That's probably the worst story I've ever heard. Honestly, you would stop watching the movie and throw the book away with a story like that.

a couple Qs I ask myself to see I'm living a good story...
- is God's fame being spread because of my story?
- are people in need being helped in my story?
- would my story be worth reading?
- will I look back in 10 years and wish I could rewrite it?

<I think tomorrow I'll share some cool stuff from the book...>


Heather said...

John Eldridge has a lot to say about story in his book the sacred romance. LOVE IT! Story is so intertwined in our lives.

patrick mitchell said...

yeah Eldredge is awesome too! actually, he was the 1st one to turn me onto this concept of "story" when i was about 19. i love reading that guy.