What Makes a Good Story?

The other day, I was feeling stressed. I had a lot going on. First, there were some upcoming work talks I needed to prepare for, and I kept thinking about what I had to do. Second, I was working through some things with my girlfriend, which was necessary but difficult. Third, I was tackling some of my own personal issues in counseling, and coming face-to-face with some things I had been dealing with for years. I remember feeling stressed and wishing life were easier.

For some reason, I started to think about some of my favorite stories. In a sense, our life is a story that we continue to create each day. What makes a good story?

I thought about Star Wars, which was one of my favorite stories growing up. Star Wars wasn’t very relaxing or easy—it was full of stress and conflict. In the first hour of the first movie, Luke Skywalker has to leave home, his aunt and uncle are killed, and he goes WAY outside of his comfort zone. In the rest of the Star Wars trilogy, it is more of the same. Luke has to face difficult challenge after difficult challenge. His life is hard, he isn’t perfect, but he conquers his challenges in the end. That is what makes Star Wars such as great story.

I think it’s the same way with our lives. In the moment, I might wish all my problems would go away and I could just sit on the couch and watch television. But deep down, I know that’s not what I truly want. It would be a pretty boring story. I wouldn’t want to watch that story for 30 minutes, much less live that story as my one and only life.

I want to live a good story. I want to go on adventures, step outside of my comfort zone, honestly face and deal with my own issues, and overcome challenges.

But right now, living into that story feels stressful. Instead of complaining about it or trying to avoid the stress, can we courageously face the problems we are dealing with today? Can we bring our full selves to the table to see if we have what it takes to overcome our challenges? That is the question we must answer today.

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