In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller tells a powerful story he calls, “How Jason Saved His Family.” After returning from Los Angeles, where he took part in a storytelling workshop, Don got together with his friend, Jason, and learned of some trouble Jason and his wife were having with their 13-year-old daughter.
She was dating a guy who was bad news; she was even experimenting with drugs.With the workshop fresh on his mind, Don made an offhand comment that Jason’s daughter “wasn’t living a very good story.” Jason was intrigued and asked Don to tell him more about the elements of a good story.
You can rewrite your story
A few months later, Don saw Jason again and things had changed. Jason said his family was living a better story. Now it was Don’s turn to be intrigued.
Jason explained that during their previous conversation he realized that his daughter wasn’t, in fact, living a very good story. And it dawned on him that he hadn’t mapped out a story for his family, so his daughter had chosen her own story, one in which she was wanted, even if she was only being used.
Jason decided to create a better story to invite her into.
Remembering that every good story involves someone who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it, one night he heard about an organization that builds orphanages. He found out that it costs $25,000 to build an orphanage and on the spot decided that his family would fund one even though they didn’t have the money.
It sounded like a story worth living.
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Matt Bell helps people manage money more effectively and joyfully through the practical application of biblical financial principles. Bell writes at MattAboutMoney.com and Sound Mind Investing.
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