We are back at home. Mom is so awake, which I do not understand. She’s amazing. I, on the other hand, am sick. The coughing roommate must have been a little too much for me.
It is good to be home, I think. Every story is made up of an exposition, rising action, a climax, falling action, and resolution. Resolution is when the story resolves. Like, when Bilbo comes back to Bag End after defeating Smaug the dragon… or when Frodo returns after having destroyed the ring. Home is good.
We may not have defeated a dragon or an evil ring, but we have had a little adventure. In his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller calls these sorts of stories “practice stories”, where we create an inciting incident that pushes us into a story. He does this, and then he learns that there is a difference between a good story and an epic. One of the men making a movie of his life explains this to him. There are two things that make a story into an epic: 1) “the thing a character wants must be very difficult to attain… more risk makes the story question more interesting to an audience”, and 2) “the ambition [has] to be sacrificial. The protagonist has to be going through pain, risking his very life, for the sake of somebody else”.
Now, if we follow this sort of story, there is a lot more at stake. Being in Belgium with a fever felt like an epic story to me… and I do believe that each person’s experiences can have a different effect on them. For some people, it is actually more difficult to tell a good story with their lives. When I have fever, it is very hard to tell a good story. 🙂 But I do wonder if, at the end of my life, I will have a good story or if I will have an epic story? Will my life be a good indie film or a timeless blockbuster? Will people say “Oh, she was published”, or will they say “That was an amazing story”?
I think that we all need to think of these things right now. It’s like losing weight and making New Year’s resolutions. We say we will be healthy and exercise and lose weight this year, then we say we will start tomorrow.
That doesn’t work. We need to start living our lives today. We need to fly away to Europe for a week and start living our lives. We need to finally start listening to our neighbors, creating some dialogue in our lives. We need to fight for something – risk something about ourselves for someone else. My real-life heroes are Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Corrie ten Boom – not because they were extraordinary, but because they lived their lives for others. They lived epic stories. I want to live like that.