Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review: Storyline

I was privileged to work through this workbook during my time at camp. In the introduction to the workbook it says:

"Storyline is based on the formula screenwriters and novelists use to create stories. The eight modules that comprise Storyline will help you live a better story and as such experience a meaningful life. Once you've completed Storyline you'll have clarity about what you're doing and the courage to face life's challenges. Storyline will also provide a decision filter you can use for all important decisions...

"Thank you for wanting to live a better story. We believe your story was a blank page given to you by God and to write a great story on that page is a noble pursuit and a gift to the world."

After every class session, we were given homework. Sometimes it was simply to read the passages of writing in the workbook. Sometimes it was to work through the activities for particular modules. I did all of the reading homework, but only parts of the module work. It was a bit difficult because the only time I had to pursue the homework came during free time in the schedule and the boys were with me all the time. Thus, it was hard to give full concentration. Still, I did begin to write out some of my timeline, highlighting my positive and negative turns in my life thus far. If I had been more intentional about completing the workbook, I might have actually come up with a theme my life carries and might actually know more the purpose my life seems to be directed toward. Who knows, maybe now that the boys are back in school, I will give some time to this process.

There were several interesting thoughts presented:

"What if the positive and negative turns of your life have prepared you for something great?"

"Life is supposed to be meaningful and we can't gain a sense of meaning without conflict."

"When we find a redemptive purpose toward our suffering it ceases to be suffering and ... becomes a vessel for redemption." (this may not be a direct quote, since I took it down from the teacher's words).

"When you begin to live a better story, people will have their moral compasses adjusted and in a real way you'll be saving lives. You'll be teaching people the world is not about us, but about God and His message of love to a broken world. You'll be teaching people the beauty of sacrifice and risk and you'll play a pivotal role in waking them up from their delusions."

The workbook guides you through thinking about your own personal story in terms of theme, roles, conflict, inciting incidents, and resolution. It was an interesting process to think about the whole of my life in terms of God writing a story with it. If you are interested in finding greater clarity about your purpose or goals in life, this is bound to be a helpful exercise to work through.

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