I sit at the computer. What is this idea of living a good story?
My three (at home) boys. Not so little now. Teens, manhood knocking at their door, waiting for them to open, escort them through. My guys are in the living room, watching the movie, Transformers. Caught, absorbed, living Sam's story by osmosis.
I wash yesterday's dishes.
A robin bounces across the lawn, hop hop, pause, hop hop, pause. Watching for the worm that will become part of its story, that may become part of the stalking cat's story. (I hope not).
One of the guys sits forward on the edge of the couch, enthralled with the intensity of the scene. What is this ability to tell a good story? The ability to capture the attention, the emotions, the heart and intensity of a life well lived?
I don't know how Transformers was written. I imagine someone asking, "What if?" One of those days when their car was driving like it had a mind of its own. What if it really was being driven by aliens? Add a pretty girl, a cool car that goes really fast. Not to mention turns into an alien robot. Make the robot of epic proportions, the conflict, the heart of the universe. Not just saving our world, the universe. The story every boy [man] wants to live.
I swat an annoying fly in the kitchen. Fold a load of laundry and put it away.
Cars flip and explode. Soldiers yell and rally, a team, working together, sacrificing all to save all. Each other. The pretty girl, dirt smudged on her face, her hair not so perfect now. Sam says, in a light-hearted moment, "I bought a car that turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?" An ordinary action became an extra-ordinary story.
Mix the meatloaf, put it in the oven. Peel the potatoes, simmer them in the pot.
The robot is willing to give of its heart.To sacrifice all in order to save the universe. "I will sacrifice myself." "A necessary sacrifice to bring peace."
Interesting. My story, closely intertwined with others. Willing to give of my heart, to serve others for a greater cause. As I give of my time, my work, my efforts to make others' stories happen, my story is written, too. Not in the literal sense of the robin or the cat, but in an intertwined, interwoven pattern. Interrelated with the stories of those around us. My story, it cannot be just my story, but a story that involves many others. And the stories of others involve me.
When those around us ask a lot of us, do we respond, "No, you are interrupting my story." Or, do we weave the stories together, theirs and ours? My story is not just my story, but a part of the story of all around me, influencing them, them influencing me. Our stories, interwoven.
The closing line of the movie, "There is more to us than meets the eye." Live a good story. What is your story, today? What is there, more than meets the eye? Isn't that what makes a good story? Characters, growing, changing, challenged, meeting those challenges, becoming more than who they were. To live a good story, we meet the challenges of today, grow, and alongside others, become more than who we were.