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God, Questions


“We slowly grow into life and just kind of get used to it.” -Donald Miller

This morning at Willow Creek Donald Miller spoke about what it means to tell a story with your life.  (You can watch/listen to his message here. I would highly recommend you do so, he was great!)  Donald Miller talked about how, like with music, we are innately created to connect to stories.  And a story, he said, must involve a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.

It follows that if we don’t WANT something, our lives don’t make sense.  Donald Miller says the stuff we want must be:

1. Ambitious

2. Sacrificial

3. Relational

4. Connected to love

Great stories must also include fear.  They must go through conflict.  Conflict exists in our Story from the very beginning when God creates and Adam is lonely, longing for a “suitable helper.”

God creates us to desire something.  And he builds conflict into the Story he writes.

When you get down to it, what Donald Miller says is this:  God calls you into an awesome Story and has given you the authority to do something with your own.  It’s time we each take some responsibility for the story we’re living.  It’s time we answer the question:


Then go out and live the story you want.  Make it clear.  Embrace fear and conflict.  Tell a beautiful and meaningful story rooted in love.  Tell a story that inspires, guides, and encourages those around you.

Side note – Donald Miller’s book, Blue Like Jazz, is an inviting and genuine read.  And I’m doing a book group with some Young Life girls on his newest book, A Thousand Miles in a Million Years –> feel free to read it along with us and please share your thoughts!


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.


3 thoughts on “living.your.story

  1. Hi Sam,

    I’m reading Donald Miller’s latest book, too, and thoroughly enjoying it.

    As a writer, I love the metaphor of our life as story and how God calls us into writing our own amazing story. It’s a good thought for a Monday morning.

    Keep writing, and would love to hear how your group likes his book. I think he’s hilarious.


    Posted by Betsy Schmitt | March 8, 2010, 3:17 PM
  2. Sam,

    1. You were at Willow Creek? Which service? I was at the 11:15!

    2. I loved the book, and I think I’m at a point in life where I can get my stubborn self out of the way and allow it to change me. I wake up a little more inspired each day now.

    3. I’m currently sifting through this truth: the story is not about us, but about Christ. I got home from church yesterday and ate some lunch, made a phone call, and watched a basketball game. Those 3 things seemed fairly Volvo-ish to me; what kind of story is watching a basketball game? But then I realized that I like doing all those things, and my life isn’t defined by those things (at least once the Tourney is over), and it really only matters if the story were about ME. Thank God it is not.

    Keep bloggin’,

    Posted by Chris | March 8, 2010, 7:29 PM
    • Hey Chris! I go to the North Shore campus of Willow Creek. Did you go to the main one I assume?

      I definitely think I live in tension of how and where I fit into the Story (in response to your 3rd point). Obviously it’s about Christ first and foremost, but we also have a role to play. And what we do does matter. Potentially I think it matters a lot.

      I think it may come back to the idea of comfort. We get comfortable and used to our lives, they become mundane or repetitious. I think then we stop living in the Story and using our stories to glorify God. Not that there isn’t room for watching basketball and painting our houses (which I’m currently doing) but that our life must be about a lot more or I think we’re screwed. Or we’ll at least be unfulfilled, bored, or lazy.

      Posted by Samantha Curley | March 8, 2010, 8:09 PM

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