"Our quirks make us who we are...Without them, we're boring.
Hide your quirks and you're a Volvo."
-Josh James Riebock
Rare is the book that I pick up and read on an impulse. Typically I research, read reviews and download sample chapters because there's so many good books on my waiting list, so much of a time commitment.
So, it was out of my character to grab this book off the shelf and my local Barnes & Noble. Sometimes things work out well this way.
Give me grace, because I don't like to write reviews. And I don't like writing reviews for one simple reason: I'm not a critic.
I'd rather create than criticize, build rather than destroy. So I'll just say this: I loved this book.
What drew me to this book is simple. I'm drawn to the contradictions we see in life. Where life lies in tension between two truths. The dazzling truths that lie in the balance. And that's what this book is about.
While it is an spiritual memoir, it's an honest one. One that doesn't shy away from truths that are considered ugly. Looking full on at the Hero that lies inside of a man as well as the Monster. All the while God soaks into the cracks drawing His beloved. A God that isn't controlling or needy. A God that isn't insecure. A patient God that knows the truth, that He will win His love in the end. A God that's not blind to all that is wrong in his creation, but is patient and loving enough to wait for us. A God that is for some reason named Jack.
This is a brilliant move by the author, although others may decry this as irreverent. Renaming God as Jack it makes us think of someone we could actually have a relationship with. Someone that's interested in our lives, not a far off nameless deity.
Also my grandfather who would tell me stories and taught me the love of story telling was named Jack.
Why I love this book can be summed up in this one paragraph from the first chapter:
"Then Jack tells me that this world is actually two worlds combined, one world of everything
I hope for and the other world of nothing I want. This world, Jack says, is the merging of wonder and horror, of twisted and beautiful, comedy and tragedy, a place where both exist and mingle every day. He says that this world is part heaven and part hell, and that every second, inside of me and out, I'm standing at the convergence of the two, at the corner of damned and devine."
"When the credits roll at the end of your life,
How will you have wanted to live?"
-Donald Miller, Storyline
Parker is very excited to pretend to read this book
Today I started Storyline by Donald Miller. I've only gotten through the introduction, I haven't even got to any of modules yet and I'm already wrecked.
Personally, I have the tendency to float. To let one moment move to the other. Reactionary, never planning. Here is the truth of this kind of lifestyle in relation to stories: "If a character doesn't know what they want, the story gets muddled. The same is true in life. " (page 7)
This is a book about finding your story, knowing first that the story isn't about you. This is God's story. Our story is a subplot along the way.
You have to find how your subplot relates to the great love story God is telling the world, all of humanity. Often this is difficult for me. My tendency is feel like a burden on everyone I know. That I drag down everyone I care about. That when I pray I am bothering God, distracting Him from what He really needs to be paying attention to.
Then I read this...
"There are probably days when you feel like the world would be better off if you stayed in bed but it isn't true. God created you and He created you with the power to bring light into darkness and order into chaos. You are necessary. And the sooner you believe that, the sooner you'll bond with God in living a great story." (page 20)
I read and re-read this. My natural inclination went straight to thinking this is applicable for others I know. How great this truth would be for this person or that person. Ignoring how difficult this is to accept this truth for myself. So I read it again even now, letting it sink in to my stubborn heart. That I am important to God. That I am necessary...then I read this next paragraph.
"Before you create your Storyline, understand your story matters. Don't play the victim and say "awe shucks" cause to do so is to insult God. You didn't make yourself in your mother's womb, God did, and to say you aren't important is to say his creation lacks substance."
My false humility is a flat insult to God. Who gave His own Son for reconciliation.
I'm still working on creating a plan, finding what I want and how to partner with God to tell an amazing story with my life...but I swear I will.