I just finished re-reading Donald Miller’s fantastic book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. The book occurs at while Miller is writing the screenplay from his book, Blue Like Jazz, into a movie, with Ben Pearson and Steve Taylor. In the book (Miles, not Jazz), Miller talks about how he learned how writing a screenplay is different than a book. You can’t show on screen what someone is thinking. or how they feel. you have to be able to show it. It’s a different process. That’s all the backstory. What the book is really about is our story. The human story. We all desire to live a good one. I think that’s a universal truth. We want the happy ending. But the human story doesn’t have a climax like a movie (Miller also points this out). Sure, we have a date of death but I think that’s more like the epilogue. The scene after the credits, if you will. In the mean time we have opportunities to write plenty of stories.
My story is sometimes grand. Sometimes boring. Just like all of yours. As i read this book, I have been thinking about the last couple months since I’ve gotten back from Haiti. Haiti is a great story. And compared to that day to day life doesn’t seem that way. But I think we’re missing the point sometimes. It’s all a part of the story God has for us. Since arriving in Iowa, Ive started a new one. And it may not be a fantastic story yet, but it’s also just begun. I packed up all my belongings and moved 9 hours. Well, it should have been 9 hours. It ended up being 10.5. My jeep broke down in Kentucky. The idler pulley froze up and shredded my drive belt. Any class you take on storytelling well tell you you need conflict and drama. But honestly I wasn’t thinking that at the time. i was thinking it was cold. And it was going to cost me $125 to fix. But the story goes on. I arrived here and immediately got to work with the new job and new church. It’s been exciting helping build a church. I preached for the first time in my life last week. I gave a 15 minute or so sermon on tithing (my watch said 15 minutes…i felt like I was up there for 2 hours…I am still not comfortable talking in front of people). But no one got up and left and no one threw anything at me. So I think it went ok. We’re trying to make due with what little we have at the church until we can afford to purchase some things we really need. It’s a slow process but it’ll get there. We are having our second preview service tomorrow. The official launch date is March 24. I’m excited!
The second part of the story I’m in right now involves work. I work in advertising. My dad found that amusing. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a minimalist. I don’t own much of anything. I find it completely unnecessary to purchase a lot of fancy new things. I do my best to try and make due and I purchase used as much as I can. (Side note-I love Craigslist…but SE Iowa hasn’t discovered how awesome it is so there’s never much on it here. It makes me sad.) Yet I make my living helping companies sell things. We have a list of “reasons why people buy things” in a training manual and, I kid you not, it says things like we buy to be happy. Or liked. Or to pretend we’re cool. Or because we think we’ll be fulfilled. I learned a while ago stuff doesn’t fulfill you. So i don’t buy it. But I sell it. I do sometimes have difficulties reconciling that in my head. But I’m a good salesman. And I know that it’s simply a means to an end.
Every great story has a love story, too, right? Well, mine….doesn’t. At least not yet. I’ve met a couple of great girls, but so far haven’t jumped into a relationship. I don’t know if I will with either of them. I’ve enjoyed getting to know them, but I want to pray and make sure that any relationship is edifying for both of us. I’m too old to want to date for the sake of dating. I want to be in God’s will more than theirs. So I’ll take my time.
Ok, friends. That’s all I’ve got for now. it’s time to work on my story some more.