Carpe Aeternum

Finding the Eternal in the Every Day

Telling Stories

I started this blog, inspired by Donald Miller, to try to live a better story. If you look at some of my early posts, this theme abounds. I deliberately sought out risks. At times this has worked out for me. At other times, not so much. This continues to be a theme in my life and will continue to be a theme on this site.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years chronicles Miller’s attempts to live a better story. When a movie being made of episodes from his life exposed how little story he had to tell, he consciously made the effort to change that, to take some risks, to seek adventure so that in creating better stories to tell perhaps his overall storyline would be more compelling.

Like Miller, I wondered if I had lived enough story to make a movie. And… if I had, would it be worth watching?

I began re-evaluating this after my mother’s funeral a few weeks ago. My siblings and I sat around sharing stories about my mom. It was neat to hear about aspects of her life that I had not experienced.

Shortly after my mom retired from work, she began to volunteer as an assistant teacher at a local elementary, helping kids understand their assignments so that they could prosper in class rather than falling behind.

My siblings told story after story of while walking through a store, they would hear someone call out “Hi, Grandma B!” When the person that called out came over to talk, it was always someone who my mom had helped when they were little, now as an adult. Her assistance made a difference to them in school and in life. Enough that they wanted to speak to her when they saw her.

When pondering this, I realized that a certain part of living a great story is taking a smaller role and helping others excel in their own story. Lifting others up can be as powerful as rising up to my own challenge.  I now feel inspired to find ways to do both, to live my life better, creating a better story for me, but to also help others do the same.

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One thought on “Telling Stories

  1. Brad, I think there are times when you might think “what have I done”. Sometimes you live your life not even realizing that you are affecting others around you. I need to tell you this…YOU have been an amazing support for me and my kids. You are one of the only Christian figures that my kids are able to look up to and really see the face of Christ. You are a surrogate father to my kids who have no real father present in their lives. As for me, I don’t know what I would have done without you and Julie. Just because you are my brother-in-law you are not obligated to play the supporting role but you do it out of love. Just like your mom, your assistance has made an amazing difference in our lives.

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