Part 4 of 7
I am so excited about sharing this story! We are on a literary and empowerment journey together to become better (fiction) writers and to gain a greater understanding of our own life stories. We are using Donald Miller's book on storybranding as a guide for our series. His book is meant for entrepreneurs and business leaders, but the storybrand principle is at the heart of great storytelling. (So if you also want to grow in this area as well, his book is highly recommended). So far, we stated that the character has a problem and meets a guide. In today's post, the guide gives our character a plan. Keep reading for more insight.
The Guide Gives Them a Plan
Once the guide has established his or her empathy and authority as a credible source of direction, the character has all reason to trust the guide to overcome the problem and meet his or her need. The character is now asking the question, "now that I've met you and trust you, what do you want me to do?" This is where the guide provides a clear road map for the character to follow like pointing out the stones that someone needs to step on to cross a river. It might not be an easy road map, because growth usually comes by stepping out of our comfort zones, but the guide is willing to journey with the character until his or her need is met. Sometimes the guide might not explicitly say, 'this is the plan'. By simply following the lead of the guide, the character attempts behaviours he or she would not have been able to do on his own.
Jesus Gives Us the Plan for Life
In Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord says to His people, "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." We learn in Psalm 139:16 that there are plans that God has written for us, for each day before we ever live them. Ecclesiastes 3:1 also tells us that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun. Our lives are not by chance. There is a reason we are each here and a purpose for us to fulfil that is wrapped up in God. There is a life that is specially designed for us. But how to do we access it?
When Jesus came on earth, He said, "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." (Matthew 16:25). This analogy might help us to understand Jesus' words a little more. Someone once said, 'we can count the number of seeds in an apple, but we cannot count the number of apples in a seed.' The apples in that seed will only come forth when the seed is buried in the ground. Our lives are like that seed. If we remain above ground, holding on to the life we want for ourselves, we will never see all that we are meant to be. But if we allow ourselves to be buried, not literally, but submitting our lives to Jesus Christ, what might have seemed like the end of a beautiful life is the beginning of a life we could have never imagined by ourselves.
Jesus Christ, our guide, cares deeply for our souls. He died too, and came back to life. He offers the same life for us if we choose to follow Him.
By Kerry-Ann McPherson
Project Manager & Contributor