Thursday, June 28, 2012


The message above is one that I've been hearing a lot lately. I guess I started paying attention to being the hero of my story when I read Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. In the book, he wrote about the fact that no one in their right mind wants to read about a guy who works all the time to buy a car, and then gets it and starts working to get something else. People read books and watch movies to hear about a tale of struggle and victory, either physically or emotionally, or usually both. Miller encourages his readers to be the heroes of their stories by getting out there and doing something that is worth writing a book about.

I agree that people need to get out there and do things with their lives that are bigger than themselves. That's why I like to travel. Being in unfamiliar places makes me feel like I'm living the kind of adventure that I want to read about.

But what I've been realizing more and more lately is that I'm not the hero of my own life's story. I'm just not capable of filling that role. And I'm okay with that because I've got a God who constantly whispers in my ear, "Let me be the hero of your story." In my own power, I can't change even one person in New Orleans or Seattle. Heck, I can't even change myself (believe me I've tried), but thankfully God has been doing that for me since I invited him to one Sunday night in 1999.

Last Fall, I had to preach a sermon for a class on Joshua 5:13-15. The main conclusion that I came to is that you have to let God be the hero of your story. Joshua and the Israelites couldn't have knocked down the walls of Jericho on their own. They had God's army with them doing the real fighting. Samson, pre- or post-haircut, couldn't have brought down the house without God giving him the strength. David couldn't have been undefeated in battle. Solomon wouldn't have had his wisdom and riches. Jeremiah wouldn't have known that people were threatening to take his life. Not to mention New Testament examples like Peter, Paul and Silas, and John. The whole Bible is one big example of people who (usually) got out of their own way and let God be the hero of their story. (Try reading that Bible with that in mind. It'll give you a whole new perspective on those stories about mighty men and women doing mighty things.)

So, when I have doubts about my abilities to do something, especially in relation to church planting, I try to remember that it's not my talents or strengths that are going to win the day or change lives. I simply can't fill the role of hero, and quite frankly, that's a huge relief.

"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). 

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