I suppose that I am not unlike many men who find themselves in the midst of “reality” and “dream.” To one side lies the world of responsibility and to the other lies the longings that plague us when our minds are quiet. Having wrestled with such a theme, Don Miller’s post on living a better story reaffirmed this very personal truth. The post challenged people to contemplate their “story” and then dialog about how his Living a Better Story Seminar could assist in grafting what is and what may be.
Personally, the story I want to live has undergone some changes as of late. Having matured and without overlooking the wonderful blessings that I enjoy, there are certainly aspects of my life that I long to develop. Specifically, I want my writing to become more than fleeing moments of artistic expression. My hope would be to develop my delivery of the written word to such an extent that it would powerfully engage those who come in contact with it. There would be opportunity to further my ministry through this narrative and to do so while supporting my family. The story I want to live is one that artfully employs the talents and abilities that God has given me and to do so in the context of an organization or publication that could use them. Above all, I want the practical applications of my craft to aid in living out a script that upholds my commitment to Christ and to my family.
The conflict is this…. How do I attain my pursuits while maintaining the balance of a responsible life? As a Christian husband and father, the idea of focusing on myself presents a unique dilemma. Often my knee-jerk reaction is to shy away from lofty pursuits. While my aspirations may not be inherently bad, there is a delicate balance between chasing a dream and actually getting lost in it. Beyond that, there exist the obligations of serving my family by material and emotional means. I am constantly challenged by the proposition of whether or not “living a better story” will hurt or enhance my family….let alone my ability to put food on the table. I guess to some extent, these conflicts create fear; fear of failure, fear of losing my current comforts, even the ridiculous fear of losing the respect of those I care about.
Answers and More Answers
I realize that there are few flawless answers to these conflicts. While I may not have it all figured out, I have taken a few steps that have given me a glimpse of what I have before me. This blog for instance, is a way for me to develop my writing without turning my world upside down all at once. I have also begun to do a little freelance work in order to challenge me professionally. With regard to my current career, and despite it not being a normal function of the job, I have sought out opportunities to write. It is precisely for this reason that Don’s seminar is so intriguing. I would have the opportunity to collaborate with people whose experiences I could identify with. Apart from the inspiration, there would be time to develop practical solutions to some of the big hurdles. Besides, who couldn’t use a little therapy session with several hundred on-lookers?