"The Human Story Goes On"
This week, I’m sharing my favorite ideas from “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years”, an amazing book by Donald Miller. It’s a non-fiction book that speaks to how we should think of our lives as stories to be lived, making them more meaningful in terms of how we live it, and how we (and others) will remember ourselves as we grow older and when we eventually leave. This is Day 2.
“When that kid makes the football team, he is going to find out that playing football is hard, and he’s going to find himself in the middle of yet another story. And the girl (who married the man of her dreams) is going to wake up three months into her marriage and realize…so many of her issues haven’t gone away. And if both of these people aren’t careful, they’re going to get depressed because they thought the climax to their substory was actually a climax to their human story, and it wasn’t. The human story goes on.”
So many times, we tend to think of singular events as definitive milestones. That if we simply get that job, or lose that weight or move to that location, we will have “arrived”. That all that we have hoped for and expected will have been realized.
The truth is that our achievements - however we define them - aren’t ends in and of themselves, they’re milestones along the way, or as Miller refers to them, substories. And we should expect multiple substories within our own human story. These substories don’t define our entire human story, any more than any singular event, reaction or interaction defines who we are as a person.
So interpreting the result of any singular substory as being indicative of our entire human experience is not necessarily correct. They’re certainly not ends in and of themselves.
All of our problems will not be solved by any singular achievement. There is still work to be done, still problems to be resolved, still a life to be lived, along with all that comes with it.
It’s important that we not get caught up in this trap. By all means, let’s focus on telling the substory in the way we want. But let’s not expect it to solve all of our problems.