I quickly became aÂ Donald Miller fan after readingÂ Blue Like Jazz. Â I enjoy his conversational writing style, mixed with profound observations on faith and our human condition. Â Since then I’ve read all his books. Â When this book came out, I bought it and began reading it simply because it was Miller’s next offering.
A few years ago I began using a little phrase that I’d put together through several different life experiences. Â “What makes the better story??? Â Do that!!!” This became a running joke and expression that I would use with close friends and family when faced with insignificant choices and other weighty decisions. Â At times it would result in ridiculous experiences and in other moments challenge me to choose an uncomfortable, yet rewarding path.
It was a lot of fun reading this book because Don takes a look at our life through the lens of story. Â He explores and uncovers what makes a good story in a book and on film, and how that contrasts with real life. Â I found the book prompting me to ask the question what kind of story am I telling with my life? Â Reminding me that I can choose to write a great story, to be a great character, to pursue life in all it’s fullness! Â Or I can choose a less interesting and safe existence. Â Every choice I make plays a role in determining my story. Â It was a good reminder that always choosing what is safe, or comfortable, or popular can actually dull my story.
Pam and I have purposefully made decisions in our life to create memories with our kids…telling a better story. Â We’ve realized that our kids will remember the things we did that were outside of the norm…beyond the expected. Â One example was the year we decided to have Fruit Loops for Thansgiving Dinner. Â Rather than focusing so much time and energy on the meal, we spent all our time playing and hanging out together. Â Our kids still talk about that year, and we’re threatening to do it again someday. Â Next time we’ll probably have Lucky Charms though.
Would I recommend this book…absolutely! Â Miller’s honest and creative writing has a way that I’m sure can connect with most anyone. Â I appreciate the way he openly wrestles with his faith and how it works in his life, but without jumping on the sometimes all-too-popular “let’s bash the church” train. Â It’s a pretty easy read, and might even challenge some of us to get off the couch and live a better story.