Monday, January 3, 2011

Doing the Hard Thing

Just finished reading an excellent book, “A Million Miles in  a Thousand Years; What I Learned While Editing My Life.” More than just a wonderful story, it has enhanced my passion for life.

When two Nashville screenwriters began to write a movie about author Donald Miller’s life, they told him they had to change some things in his life story to make it more engaging on the big screen. As he explored the concepts of what makes a great story, it incited him to get off the couch and immerse himself in life… to join in and make the world a better place. (Not that he was a slug, by any means, as he had already written several successful books at a young age.)

Weaving his real life stories with candor, sensitivity and humor, Donald relayed how he began living more intentionally. He forced himself to get out and do the difficult things that up until now, he’d only been thinking about – finding his dad, meeting a particular girl, getting out on his bike. While most of us conveniently choose the elevator rather than the stairs of life, Donald shares his wit and grit, competently illustrating how doing the hard thing pays off – in more ways than one, and how he found greater purpose in life than self-satisfaction. He began "writing a better story with his life."

He persuasively shows how the journey of life – especially the difficult parts – is what builds our character, which is extremely more valuable than immediate accomplishments or results.

The book was especially inspirational to me because he talked about the difficult discipline of being a writer. “You can sit around and wait for inspiration to come, but you’ll never finish your book that way… A writer may never feel like writing any more than a plumber feels like fixing a pipe, but just like him, you make a plan and start in on the messy work of making a story.”

And, so I’m beginning to blog again. It’s not that I’d quit, really. Just slowed to a meager drip. Among the other priorities (of helping my husband through cancer treatments and hip surgery) in the last few months, I also let the forces of resistance fuel my doubts and started believing I didn’t have anything worthwhile to say.

But I know that’s not true; and when I blog I feel such satisfaction! I believe it’s what I need to do right now, if for no other reason than to discipline myself, hone my gift of writing and wait for further direction. And I really hope to stir the minds of a few readers who find these insights helpful!

So, I ask you, “What kind of story are YOU writing with your life? What kind of legacy are you creating? Are you willing to do the hard thing that needs to be done? Is there something you have been wanting to do, but dragging your feet about? This world so desperately needs the good we all have to offer.

Lord God, You give each of us gifts and passions that are meant to be shared. You have encouraged us, telling us we are the light of the world! Instead of hiding it under a bowl, help us to put our light on a stand so that it lights the way for others and gives glory to You (Matt 5:13-16). Help us have courage to do the sometimes difficult things we know we must do.

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