…by Brian Walker
If you are familiar with the book Blue Like Jazz, then you know who Donald Miller is. Miller knows quite a bit about writing a good story because he went through the process of creating a movie based upon his life. After finishing this process, he came to the definition of a good story. A good story is “A character who wants something and is willing to overcome conflict to get it.” We all experience conflict everyday and we often try to avoid it as much as possible. I know this personally because I would much rather flee conflict than face it. However, it is in some of these moments of conflict that we are able to enter into a better story.
Now I’m not saying that every moment of conflict is an entry point into a better story. There are certainly things in life that naturally present us conflict because they are dangerous or harmful. One example is speeding. When you get pulled over, you face a conflict. This conflict though is meant to keep you and others safe because speeding can be inherently dangerous. Instead of enduring the conflict you should cease the action that creates it.
The kind of positive conflict that I am talking about is kind of conflict that will take you to a better place. Imagine yourself at the bottom of a mountain. The view around you isn’t that great. You can see the trees around you and some mountain peaks, but not much else. It’s when you begin to climb up the mountain that you begin to see the better views. It is only through embracing that conflict of the climb, though, that you are taken to those better views. This is the kind of conflict I’m talking about.
At this point you might be wondering about what conflict and a good story have to do with needing a God that can handle your story. The answer comes in the idea that God loves you too much to keep you where you are. Just as Greg said on Sunday, God meets you where you are, but then starts to take you to where you need to be. It is in this journey of where we need to be that these positive conflicts begin to arise. You can either choose to embrace them and enter into the good story that God is inviting you into or you can choose to ignore them and continue along with the same meager story.
You can bet that whatever story God is inviting you into will be one that is better than the one you are currently living. This story though is not something that is initially easier. This is true because it takes effort for us to go somewhere, especially somewhere new or different. You might even be thinking “hold up, Jesus says that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.” This is absolutely true. You’ll find that his yoke and burden are easier and lighter because his direction and story are the true way that we are to live. They do, however, call us to live in a different way than we currently are.
The beautiful thing is that we don’t go at this alone. God has given us his Spirit to guide us and to walk with us. Jesus described the Spirit with the Greek word Paraclete, which means one who comes alongside. I would encourage you this week to ask the Spirit what areas of life you need to embrace conflict in order to enter into a better story. Go back to listening 10 minutes a day this week and see where he leads you. Also check out Donald Millers Storyline conference and book to see if they would be good tools for you to utilize in entering more fully into God’s story. Here is the hyperlink:
I pray that you will embrace the positive conflicts in life and that in doing so God will take you to the place you need to be.