For the second time in less than a week someone asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That’s a tough question. Not because I don’t know but because there isn’t a title for what I want to be and the job description certainly can’t be unpacked in a ten minute conversation across a coffee shop counter. Each time I’m asked I recite a familiar refrain in the silent corners of my heart, “I’m not sure what to call what I want to be but I know what it looks like. And I want the last third of my story to count. Really count.”
- I want to walk with young leaders. Literally in a cavalcade through canyons trails and over mountain passes. Figuratively next to them as we navigate the terrain of life and leadership. I want to pass on the lessons I’ve learned. Hopefully they will be able to avoid my pitfalls and undergo the transformation that comes from making their own mistakes and wrestling with the conflict in their story.
- I want to tell stories that inspire multitudes of people. It would be great if that meant I stood on a big stages and communicated to large audiences. But it may happen because God will speak to smaller groups so powerfully through an ass like me (i.e. Numbers 22) that the impact of His truths will be passed from neighbor to neighbor, parents to children, and friend to friend.
- I want to be an agitator for the church. Please remember I am a product of the church. I love the church. I take seriously the fact that I am the church. I have seen the bride with her makeup off. I’ve caught a few glimpses of her at her worst. Fortunately I have also had moments to behold her beauty, see her at her best, and experience what the bride can be. Now I refuse to settle for less and don’t want anyone else to settle either.
My challenge is I don’t know how to get there. I live in the wake of a perfect storm of loss, heartbreak, and pain. It is a sliver of time similar to the moment in a movie when the audience holds its collective breath unsure of what will come next. If Donald Miller is correct, that which makes a great story makes a great life, then the conflict is not the end. It is the moment when the character changes. The protagonist becomes something he wasn’t. The crisis is the instrument of transformation.
I really believe attending the Living a Better Story Seminar would be instrumental for beginning a new chapter in my story. The conference looks like an environment where the art of living a compelling story will be caught as well as taught.
You can find more information about the seminar here: http://donmilleris.com/conference/