The culture here is a bit different though, than East Tennessee culture. Instead of barbecue joints lining the streets, you find vegan restaurants. Instead of pick-up trucks, everyone is driving a mountain bike. And instead of finding a church on every corner, you find a microbrewery. To be honest, as much as I love Tennessee, I think I fit right in up here.
It's been a great day speaking at Warner-Pacific College, sharing at chapel, having lunch with some of the students, and teaching a seminar on writing and story craft. As a result of all this I've been thinking a lot about story today – both the shape of a good tale and the movement of a character through the struggle to a discovery and a transformed life.
Here are a few of the points that have been churning around in my brain:
- Stories are not lists of events, they are transformative experiences. Every good story pivots on a struggle and a discovery that we, the audience, can identify with.
- When God chose to reveal himself to us, he didn't do it by giving us a set of facts but a pack of stories. And even his story, the story of redemption, pivots on the human struggle to find meaning and hope in our splintered world, and the discovery that grace is available from above.
- When we study the stories in the Bible it isn't to find the main point, but to enter the story God is telling our world. By identifying with the struggles of the characters in the Bible we can learn with them what it means to be drawn closer to God.