“If your story could be summarized on the back of a DVD case, would anyone want to rent it?”
I listened to this challenge again from Donald Miller on a Willow Creek Defining Moments recording on my way home from Victoria, BC this weekend. According to Miller, in order for a life to be fully maximized there needs to be a strong purpose, and an element of tension or conflict.
Otherwise your life’s DVD summary might read something like this: “This is the story of someone who gets up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, and does it all over again the next day.” Not very compelling.
Instead, Miller challenged, there needs to be purpose, tension and struggle. How much more interesting for a DVD to read, “This is the story of someone determined to make a lasting impact in his world. Along the way he encounters opposition, but rises to the challenge and perseveres against all odds.”
The idea of looking at life as a story was fresh in my mind after spending the previous two days at our staff retreat, where our special guest Dan Reinhardt from CREST Leadership led us through an exercise in examining our own life’s story.
We were given the opportunity to map our story on a graph, showing the highs and lows, and then shared our story with the team, adding explanation, clarity and learnings.
It was a compelling exercise, and one which has me looking at my life like a story editor, wondering what notes I should put in the margins. Would I write, “Compelling! Riveting! Persevering through adversity and making great Kingdom gains!” Or are there times where I’d jot down, “Pretty tame; not much action.”
Bottom line; God has given me one life to live, and I want my story to glorify Him by being as compelling as possible.
How would your life be summarized on the back of a DVD?