Sunday, July 10, 2011

Harry's Story

I don't particularly like Harry Potter-- no offense to all of you who dress up for the opening night movies & book releases, and all that. I don't really have anything against the kid, he just doesn't wow me like Lucy Pevensie or Bilbo Baggins.

And yet, I find myself, in every spare moment, slinking back to this tattered old copy of Harry Potter. I stay up reading when I'm sleepy, I have to suppress little urges throughout the day to find out what happens next, and notice these strange, anti-social tendencies as I retreat back to a quiet space with this book that I'm not that into.

Today I realized why. It has to do with Story-- not necessarily the story of Harry & wizards & all that, but the greater concept of Story. Don Miller defines Story as a character who wants something & is willing to overcome obstacles to get it. The good stories, he says, are the ones where the character wants something good & worthwhile, and where the obstacles & conflicts are so great that he becomes a better character as he works towards his goal.

What I realized today from Harry is that I am drawn back to him over & over because I am a little bit stuck in my own story right now-- and it's easier & far more comfortable to curl up & watch someone else's story than to work at writing your own.

The last several weeks haven't told the most exciting story for me. Chris is trying with all his might to finish up his Masters degree, and is taking an intensive course, while I hang out at the parent's house with our little guy. Seriously, there's not much to complain about: I have a big, clean house, hardly any responsibilities, and a pool. Compared to the frazzled, stressed out season we've had buying a house, moving & drowning in home repairs, this is paradise.

But strangely it seems more like Limbo than paradise, and I admit I'm going a little bit crazy here in babyland day after day. I think that somewhere along the way, I have lost track of the Story that I am trying to tell. I paused today to ask myself "What is it that I want?" It's a pretty boring story when there is no great desire driving the plot, and it's honestly a pretty boring existence, as peaceful & mellow as it's been, to sit around all day with nothing driving or motivating me.

So I ask myself again: What do I want? What story am I telling? It's harder to answer than I thought.

I guess what I want is to live a life that illuminates life for others-- one that both allows them to see that there can be fullness & beauty & purpose, and that also helps them discover what their particular role is in that greater purpose. I want to be a part of a family that gives others hope in the concept of family, marriage, relationships & belonging, and to have a home that invites others to be at home. For those who are unable to reach that fullness & beauty & purpose-- because of something holding them back-- I want to help them get out from under that weight. And I want to do it within the context and energy that is found in my Creator.

I can tell that I need practice putting those thoughts into words. They feel rusty & forced as they come out, like some dusty, forgotten tool in the back of the garage.

I'm not sure what it looks like right now to live out that Story in this particular context, sitting in our parent's house day after day and talking baby talk. But I know that, if nothing else, I need to remember the Story that I am telling-- or rather, that is being told through me.

So I suppose this is the part of the story where patience & depth are rooted in me, if I will allow them to be. It's the part of the story where my partner takes the lead & I step back to support him; the part of the story where I get to know my little man a little bit better; the part where I soak in the quiet & the rest and gear up for the next chapter. The part where I curl up with a book and take a deep breath.