Read it. It will change your life.
In the book he talks about “story”, and how to make your life tell a story, a good story, a story worth telling. He makes a master stroke with this line discussing pain,
“When we watch the news we grieve all of this, but when we go to the movies we want more of it. Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller.”
Life hurts. Conflict hurts. It hurts so bad that it tears you apart from the inside out and leaves you a crumpled pile on the floor. Life hurts so bad that it changes you… forever.
In the book, Miller goes on to say that our day to day lives are nothing anyone would want to hear about. They don’t make a good story. The first few minutes of a movie are spent introducing the characters and setting, but if thats all their was the movie would suck. The movie doesn’t get “good” until something explodes, someone dies, until conflict (pain) happens. The characters react, and turn a corner in their lives. The whole rest of the movie is about the struggle, about the character arch, about the ways they are forever changed by the conflict.
In terms of real life, we are all boring. Our stories suck…. until something explodes and forces us to turn that corner and become something new…
…and sometimes you have to light the fuse yourself. Nothing will change if you don’t turn a corner, and you can’t always wait for the story to come to you… but that means running headfirst into the part that hurts the most… the change, the conflict, the arch and growth… perhaps it’s something that needs to change, perhaps it’s something that simply needs to be faced or a conversation to be had… whatever “it” is, it means holding on for the long haul because some stories are longer than others and sometimes the pain and conflict seems to linger on forever… but you have to stay true to the arch… it’s the only way the story will become worth telling! You can’t give up and quit half way through or all the pain will be worthless.. you’ll end up half-developed, a supporting character in a story that’s supposed to be all about you! If it’s a story worth beginning, it’s a story worth seeing to the end.
My life has been full of pain lately… of all sorts. It hurts and it’s scary… but it’s through conflict that God writes the best stories… think about it, when was the last time you heard a good story in which nothing happened..?