Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Forest

But Victor Frankl whispered in my ear all the same. He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree.

Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2009), 198.
I finished reading Miller's book this morning. I had bought it when I went to hear him speak at my church down in Arizona, but had never taken the time to actually read it. [Side-note: Its ironic how many books I have purchased but never gotten around to reading.] It was a quick read and pretty enjoyable. I have always thought Miller has the ability to tell a solid story, so a book about life in stories makes sense for him. My personal favorite from his remains Searching for God Knows What. Not sure why really, I just really loved it at the time I read it.

In regards to this book, I think the part that stuck out to me the most was his idea of the story of humanity being compared to that of a forest. A forest is made up of many trees - each being unique in and of themselves but still being part of the overall forest of trees. The story is about the forest. It has to be about the forest. No matter how tall, wide, green, or strong a particular tree might be - the forest as a whole is still more important. This speaks so strongly to my tendency to get caught up in my own world & life. I fall easily to the false belief that the forest (humanity) is not as critical to God or myself as the individual tree (myself). Its selfish & highly egotistical and often causes me hurt & frustration as I lament over God "letting me down" when things don't go my way. How much easier would life be if I didn't get so focused on my own journey and realized the larger story God was trying to communicate through everyone else? Its as if God is whispering the classic "don't miss the forest for the tree(s)" in that He desperately wants me to see the larger picture. My journey and the details of my life are very important to Him (what is man that thou art mindful of him) and yet the larger story is of far more importance. My story as an individual tree should be focused on contributing all that I have to offer to overall story of the forest. Its in doing that, that I will find joy & contentment in life.

Miller's book is certainly not a "life-changer" type work. However, I think it communicates some great ideas on story & life. If for only one illustration, the book was highly worth the read for me.

1 comments:

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