Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Story of Our Lives

This week I had that wonderful pleasure of meeting Donald Miller, the author of one of my favorite books, Blue Like Jazz. Donald was the morning devotional speaker at the P.I.G.S. (Partners in Grant-Making Services) Conference at Skamania Lodge on Tuesday morning. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality is currently being made into a full-length movie in which Donald is helping write the screenplay. In the devotional, Donald talked about what makes a good story...

1. a character who wants something, has a goal, a purpose: there is a screenwriting theory that says between pages 15-20 of the screenplay, the character should save a cat. yes, he should literally save a cat (or help an old lady walk across the street); some good deed that makes him likeable.

2. conflict: the characted must overcome conflict to get what he wants, reach his goal, or obtain his purpose.

3. what the character wants has to be self-sacrificial: the overcoming of the conflict has to benefit someone else.

4. the story changes the character: he becomes a better man by going through this story.

Blue Like Jazz
is somewhat of a memoir, a compilation of stories about Don's life. It's a wonderful story and it inspires me. But Don said, "I don't just want to live through random experiences anymore. At the end of the day, I want to be living a meaningful story." Me too. I don't want my goal in life to be saving up for a new car, striving for a job promotion, fitting in, being popular. I want my life to be meaningful. I know that it will involve conflict, I know that the story isn't just about me, and I know that I will be a different person at the end of my story than I am now. But I am the lead actor in my story as you are in yours, and it's up to us to make it a good one.

Blue Like Jazz

"It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll."

"I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding your love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again."

- some of my favorite quotes from Blue Like Jazz

1 comment:

  1. Makes me want to re-read Blue Like Jazz!