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.