What’s your story?
For so many years I’ve had the dream of opening up a coffee shop in a city that had buildings with many stories. I picture an old quaint little building with window views on every story. I want to name my coffee shop “What’s your story”, and have each layer of the coffee shop provide a different way to express individual’s stories. For instance, floor one will be international- coffee sold from all around the world supporting local and international small farms. As well as a chance for people to talk about their travels, experiences abroad and lessons they’ve learned while traveling. The other stories of the building are very interesting but it just occurred to me to maybe not spill my life’s goals on the internet, who knows what will come back and haunt me.
Anyway, what got me thinking about my old coffee shop idea was a book I’m reading right now called: “A million miles in a thousand years” by Donald Miller. In his book he talks about writing a story, and it has made me think about how important each of our stories are. We often condemn ourselves for not having exciting stories, or not sharing with others because we actually convince ourselves that since our stories aren’t as dramatic as theirs, it holds less value. It couldn’t be more false. Each of our stories has significant value. Gandhi once said “What we do in our lives is insignificant but it is very important that we do it”, each of our stories may be insignificant to the grand scheme of worldly poverty, injustice and oppression but it does not make it insignificant in the lives that each of us leave a finger print in.
How often do sell ourselves short not because we fear to not be good enough, but that we fear to be great. We settle with “good” because we fear “great”.
In the book I’m reading Donald Miller says “But nobody really remembers easy stories. Characters have to face their greatest fears with courage. That’s what makes a story good. If you think about the stories you like most, they probably have lots of conflict. There is probably death at stake, inner death or actual death, you know. These polar charges, these happy and sad things in life, are like colors God uses to draw the world.”
I’m not saying that a non-dramatic story isn’t worth as much as a conflict filled story, but the stories that are remember is when the character steps out of their comfort zone and faces conflict with courage. How have you been doing this in your life? Is it as simple as talking to someone outside of your group of friends that doesn’t have a friend and eats lunch alone? How about someone at work who doesn’t know God, what does it look like to have a conversation with that person that isn’t easy? But it makes your story and their much more interesting.
I guess what I’m trying to say is the only thing we really own is our story, how will we allow others to experience our story? Because in the end our story is our lives.
I’m going to live like I’m telling the best story in the world.