living a good story

graphic of the words

There are times when I wonder if my life really makes any difference in the world, and I'm sure you sometimes feel the same.

We hear the stories of those who wrote plays, or books, or symphonies before they were 22 and feel dejected. We watch Youtube videos of ten year old piano virtuosos and marvel at her skill, but also feel quite degected at the same time.

Sometimes I wonder what I have to show for my 38 years of life. 

Donald Miller in his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, challenges us to live a life that is worth living; a life worth watching as a film. He urges us to be real characters in our own stories, to be people who want something worthwhile and overcome some obstacle to get it.

While Miller encourages us to play the staring role in our lives, I suggest a minor tweak to the idea. As Christians, we are given a significant role, but it is a supporting role, not a staring role. Out lives are caught up in the story of Jesus and his work in the world. However, even though we are not the star of the show, how we act impacts the way the lead character is seen. 

This book has caused one of the biggest paradigm shifts in the way I think about my life, and the lives of those I interact with; even the lives of institutions I work for. I have begun to think about what I am really pursuing, what I should be pursuing, and if I am working to overcome the conflict that comes with pursuing that goal in a good and healthy way.

Some of these shifts are simple; like wanting to be a more loving, nurturing, spontaneous father to my children. Some of them may be a bit more profound; like wanting to guide people toward a more active engagement with God in their everyday lives. Over all, however, I am working on living a life that joins in what Jesus is doing and points to him; a life that spreads a little joy around.


Sometimes we look down on the supporting role, but it is actually really important. It is the role you and I are called to play, so lets play it well.