Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

This is where I'm at right now:

     "I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can't see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story." 

     "If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation. If I got any comfort as I set out on my first story, it was that in nearly every story, the protagonist is transformed. He's a jerk at the beginning and nice at the end, or a coward at the beginning and brave at the end. If the character doesn't change, the story hasn't happened yet. " 

     "The reward you get from a story is always less than you thought it would be, and the work is harder than you imagined.  The point of a story is never about the ending, remember.  It’s about your character getting molded in the hard work of the middle."

Over the last few months, I've been in the process of my "story." I live in the "middle." I haven't given up, but I haven't fought very hard to "make each day stand out." I want to live more intentionally. Be more generous and sacrificial. Put more effort into the things that matter to me. Read more books, write more stories, send more letters. "People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen." 

I want to do the work. I want to take the risks. To join the parade. To make something of nothing.  To turn the TV off and get out my bike. To face the things I'm most afraid of. 

I will have a great story. 

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