Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Living a Man's Story

A PBS Masterpiece Theater show called "Downton Abbey" has been getting some publicity lately. Partly because it is a throw-back to the British "upstairs-downstairs" dramas of the past, and partly because it is a fresh take on the style, with more intricate and fast-moving plots. I used to watch Masterpiece Theater back in the day when I wasn't really allowed to watch anything on TV besides PBS. (anyone remember Marty Stouffer's Wild America?) I don't remember much besides the adults always looked mad or hot or gassy.

The show has had somewhat of a fresh following with the "Downton Abbey" series. I read an article from the New York Times this morning that explains, among other things, the inspiration for the plot: American TV shows like "Sex in the City" and "Glee." Julian Fellowes, the writer for the show, explains his reasoning behind writing a somewhat cruel take on a relationship between two of the characters: "These are two people who have not been given all that much in life, but what they have been given is a real love. I wouldn’t ever want to undermine that. But they’ve got to suffer a little. Nothing harder to dramatize than happiness."

They've got to suffer a little. Interesting.

Consider Romans 8:18- "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

I don't claim to have the answer to famine, war, miscarriages, divorce, or bad things happening to good people. I am exploring the story that I am a part of. God is the author of all things. And good authors know that hardship brings drama, which creates a good story.

I don't want my story to be boring. I want it to bring glory to God. I want it to be exciting. I'll be writing more on this topic in the coming months as it relates to my life and dreams and goals. But take some time to look at the plot twists God has written into your life, and see if you can't find the hand of a master author. And if you're up for a good story, get ready for more.

*if you want to read a lot more on the idea by a guy who is a lot better at writing about it, check out Donald Miller's blog, and his book, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story."

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