Recently, I have seen an increasing amount of discussion about “story.” Not just fictional tales, but the unfolding narrative of our lives. For followers of Jesus, understanding the big story of what God is doing in the world can change everything.
Faith becomes more than just a “ticket to heaven” but becomes an invitation into a compelling way of life — an eternal kind of life that begins today and continues on into eternity. Jesus rescues us and — amazing grace! — invites us to join Him in His work of redemption in the world.
We want our lives to count, for what we do to matter. In other words, we want our lives to tell a story worth hearing. This is not easy, though. Donald Miller notes in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, we wouldn’t cry at the end of a film about a man whose ultimate goal in life is to buy a Volvo. And yet, all too often, we live those kinds of stories and wonder why it feels kind of empty. From A Million Miles:
If what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.
So much of our lives is spent minimizing risk. As a husband and father, I completely understand that — I want stability, success, protection, etc. for my family as much as anyone else. However, building a kingdom of comfort is not compatible with living for the kingdom of God. If our ultimate goal is essentially to own a fleet of Volvos, then we’ve missed out on what makes for a meaningful story.
More than Stuff
That is not to say that Jesus wants us to be miserably uncomfortable or for us not to take care of our families; simply, that we were made for something more than more stuff. I believe God loves my family more than I could understand and His story is more beautiful than I could dare to dream. And, in the end, if I jump (and even take a fall) for the better story of the Kingdom, I know things will work out.
Learning to Risk
Sometimes, learning to live a better story requires taking risks. Read part two of my interview with DK Daniel Kim about why he and his family left the comfort of OC today to fight human trafficking in Mexico City for the next two years.
May love, not fear, form the foundation for your decision-making and, in the process, may you learn to live a better story as part of God’s kingdom.