a story without the preliminary drafts

What is this story I write? I do not speak of a fictional narrative; I speak of my life. In fiction writing there is the safety net of preliminary drafts. Not so with life. We make choices. We experience consequences for good or for bad. Inspired by the thinking of Donald Miller in his recent book (2009), A Million Miles in a Thousand Years,  I have thought often about what I might do to edit my life.

I have made several deliberate life choices in the past year. Yet I have put off others, sensing that the timing was not yet right. I tend to be one who takes much time to think through all the possible ramifications of my options before making a decision. Once the decision is made, I am resolved, the debate having been settled.

But what if I get it wrong? There is no preliminary draft. Every decision we make in life is immediately published for all to see. Enter the concept of editing. In real writing, editing obviously should be done before the work is sent to the printers. Post-printing edits must wait for possible future print runs or editions. A close comparison for life is repentance concerning those things that are sinful, and a simple change of mind for those things which are not sinful, but could use adjustment according to the wisdom which God provides.

By God’s grace and with the help of many people, I have accomplished some of the major goals in my life. I am grateful for God’s patience with me to allow me these pursuits. And now I look onward. I do not perceive the kinds of goals which motivated me up until the last few years. I see, rather, counterintuitive goals. The kind which require a high price of a different nature. They may even require the unraveling of specific past dreams.

Indeed, some of those dreams have already been killed for reasons I do not deem it necessary to repeat in this venue. Instead I survey the ashes and I sense beauty. I pray for God’s direction, rather than a resurrection of what might have been. I remember the promise I made to God to take up my cross, considering  anew that God took me at my word in that distant, seemingly obscure moment in my past. And I dare hope.  

There is a new chapter waiting to be lived. Break camp and advance….


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