Monday, November 14, 2011

A Tree in a Story About a Forest

I love these little ten-minute blog posts. I rarely plan to write my favorite blogs. They are the ones that just happen. What's more, they're usually the ones I write in a short amount of time on the spot.

Donald Miller is my favorite writer. His latest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, is the definition of a must-read. He encourages people to live stories worth talking about. The experiences he describes are real. He's a real guy living an average life but wanting more, just like all of us. Sure, he's writing books that sell a lot of copies and make him sort of famous in different circles, but at the end of the day he wakes up, works, enjoys friends, and goes to bed, just like the rest of us. His relatability makes him an author worth reading over and over because his simple, yet profound, thoughts can resonate with average people like me.

My favorite chapter of any book is "A Tree in a Story About a Forest" from this book. In this chapter, Miller talks about a gentleman named Victor Frankl who helped people to avoid suicide in concentration camps during World War II. He would illegally give these people hope and keep them alive. During a dark time in his life, Miller felt Frankl whispering to him that he was a tree in a story about a forest and that he had a bigger purpose than his own goals and aspirations.

After talking so much about living a better story and having adventures and experiences worth talking about, Miller brings it all back and reminds us that throughout these stories we must remember that we are not the center of attention, which is the complete opposite of what American society tells us. In the movies, we are the actor pursuing the dream job or the dream girl or the dream home or the dream family with two kids, a dog, and a white picket fence.

In life, that's not the story. The story is Jesus. We are characters in the story of Jesus. We are carriers of Jesus to people in this world. We are broken people who have been saved by Jesus' dying to conquer sin. Our brokenness is fixed by Jesus. We are nothing but arrogant for believing that we have anything to do with our lives being saved. We are arrogant if we think that our stories are more important than His.