I can always tell when my life becomes interesting. More than just a flash of curiosity or some exciting or detrimental event falling on me, the true barometer is when I realize that I can’t decide whether I want to run and hide in isolation or throw all caution to the wind and do something completely crazy. Two total extremes creating this peak in my story arc.
Such simple things can throw us into these arcs. All you can do is either hang on and enjoy the ride or let go and go back to the routine.
I usually manage to do both. A terrifying moment of indecision when I know I have a choice: let this story take me where it will, or let my fears keep me from discovering something that might just end up being fantastic.
Right now I’m sort of dangling there, with one foot on the ground and the other kicked toward the sky.
I suppose I prefer my life this way. I hate boring. The view is much better from up here at the high point of my arc. But as luck would have it, I’m also terrified of heights.
Some tell me I’m unsettled. I call it restlessness; this desire to LIVE that is sometimes completely contradictory to everything I have come to know about myself and my faith. It causes me to question my motivations and actions in ways that frighten me. A force of motion I cannot stop and I’m not entirely sure I want to.
What is a story arc? In fiction – written or film – it is the unfolding of events in a character’s life that affect her so profoundly she is a different person by the end of the story. In a well-drawn story, different is always better. The change to the character – even a negative change – adds to the reader’s overall enjoyment and perception of the story as the whole.
The same is true for real life. Every mistake and wrong turn become the chisel to the stone of your life, whittling away the broken and useless pieces, and then forming and shaping you into the person God intends you to be.
All too often people get so caught up in living that they actually forget to live. They breathe, go through the motions. Live only because they have to. Terrified of the chisel, of experiencing something that might draw a little blood, but could shape you into something beautiful.
When you let go and allow your story to unfold you begin to see things you would normally miss. Little nuances of light and shadow; shapes and colors and sounds emerging from the gray. Sometimes we have to be tossed, kicked, pulled, forced out of our elements in order to see the things that compose the elemental basis of who we are.
I challenge you to gather the courage to go there, to see life from this amazingly terrifying, heartbreaking, soul-wrenching height. To allow yourself to be different. To be better.
I’m not advocating recklessness. Sometimes the most courageous thing we can do is take a stand and step back when the world is coaxing you onto the ledge. So ask God to help you determine what your different is. What stand do you need to take today? What is your story arc and where do you think it will lead? Where do you want it to lead? And most importantly, where does God want your arc to take you? And then ask him to give you the courage to go there.
And if he doesn’t answer, or if his direction is not clear, just remember…
“So what if you take a wrong step? If you get lost, God can find you.” – Joyce Meyer