Writing a good story — in all kinds of ways | my submission

Last year i read Don Miller's  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years after purchasing it at a massive book store in Portland, it was my first trip to the city and i thought it fitting to buy a Donald Miller book while there!  I LOVED IT! I even labeled it one of my 2 must read books of 2009. I was fascinated by Donald Miller's narrative approach to life! Being a huge fan of narrative theology this wasn't anything extraordinarily new but the way he communicated story and inspired the reader to start living a good one was, maybe not novel but timely for our fast food, movie watching culture. And it was written and communicated in Donald Miller's classic fashion! A great book for sure. Well now Don is hosting a seminar on Living a Better Story and i would LOVE to go! Here's a link to find out more about it :: Living A Better Story And a sweet little video of Don if you want to hear more.

So i am submitting this little blog post / essay (below) with hopes to win the prize, a free trip to Portland!

Here goes nothing...

Writing a better story — in all kinds of ways

I feel like i have always thought telling a good story was important and unconsciously i thought i was living a good story as well. But like all good scripts the first tension and the first turn toward resolution are only the beginning.

The first chapter of my story consisted of growing up in a fatherless home, living in low-income housing while my mother worked 2 and 3 jobs at a times, having my birth name changed because the Muslim / Albanian name my absent father gave me was just going to be to hard for people to pronounce, among other reasons. I thought my tension filled young life was adequately resolved when i was introduced to Jesus in 8th grade. I became a Christian, received a “call” to vocational ministry and not long after started traveling the country preaching bible, telling the story of God in a way that hopefully challenged people to authentically follow Jesus. I believed I was living a good story.

But that was only chapter 1.

In the middle of a living my nice little story I met a girl (positive turn), i was ordained (positive turn), i moved to San Diego (positive and sunny turn). But then... I got married (tension : trust me, tension), i got excommunicated (NEGATIVE turn), I moved to Nashville (humid turn) and i unexpectedly had a kid (uncategorizable turn).

Now i find myself at a place in life that is beautiful and hard all at the same time and i just want to make sure i am living a good story. I want to be living a good story for my beautiful wife Andrea and for my amazing son Jack. I also want to be living a good story because i want to follow Jesus, who i believe is stirring authentic and riveting stories in all of us who are open to it.

I think this conference would be an amazing time to think, dream, and take in the elements of a good story so i can, by the grace of God, live them out in my life and with my family.

My wife, who i would bring with me, is a writer who needs some stirring to get out of the magazine world and write her first book, to live the story that is bubbling in her soul! We are also praying about planting an Anglican Church, tension / turn / who knows what that is. And among all the reasons that i feel like i would benefit from the reminder to live a daring story the most important one is my son. I don’t have a clue how to be a dad but i know i want to learn to live a great story so that i can teach jack to live a great story. I want our family to live the kind of story that people want to read!

So as much as i think this conference could inspire my wife and i to risk for the sake of our vocational stories i would hope this conference to challenge and equip us to live a story as a family that will be worth writing down someday.

Here’s to Portland (i hope we get to go!)

Grace and peace erik