Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dates with Donald

I have a confession.

I’ve been going on dates with a guy for a week now.

Barnes n Nobles, Borders...we secretly meet up (New Year’s Eve he stood me up, but turns out it was out of his control).

I had met him before, but he reintroduced himself that night as I walked down the aisles of Barnes n Noble. We quickly plopped down and got reacquainted for over an hour. I'd forgotten how great he was? Sadly, we then parted ways, I to the café section he to the books.

When I finally sat down with my cookie and tea, I realized what a stupid choice I’d made! I felt alive as he talked, like he was a serendipitous gift for these last days of 2009. AND what a great guy, for heaven’s sake it may have been fate, as we’d met before, years ago during my Crusade years?!

So with boldness and oneness of mind I went back! At first I didn’t see him, but there he was between two other books, Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. (o;

Ok so it’s not Donald but Donald’s book. All the same. We’ve been having these dates the past week.

It started December 29 when my back felt good enough to go on a walkabout downtown. Something felt new in the air, different. And I was SO ready to be back amongst the living after weeks on the couch! Meeting back up with Donald was an unexpected treat. Truth is I have met him, maybe 5 years ago or so when he was speaking at a Crusade event. He signed his book and we talked movies. I hadn’t yet read his book Blue Like Jazz before he signed it but I thought since I met him I might as well. It was good. I wish I could make writing look so easy and natural.

So meeting back up with him through A Million Miles in a Thousand Years has been fun. Truly serendipitous.

You see the whole book is based around the struggle of turning his memoir into a movie and realizing his real life wasn’t truly being lived. He wrote about life but wasn’t truly living his life (he hid behind writing). Thus he unpacks what characters in good stories do, they live out big stories; take risks, have trials, overcome trials, live for a cause greater than themself.

Now, this comes at a time of unforeseen disruption in my own life; disability leave, ruptured disc and fissure, uncertainty of going back to prior occupation. Lots going on.

Perhaps it’s because of this unique place in my story and time that our times together seems so meaningful.

I have no money to buy his book, so I have to set up these ‘dates’ to read it. I’m at the same life stage, wrestling with similar thoughts and questions. I have an ever evolving manuscript trying to be written about my story and the greater story God is inviting me into. And I just really need him right now. I need to know someone else is struggling. Someone else can do it. There’s a way and it doesn’t come through stagnant resignation waiting for a far off God in the sky to say, “???" (whatever those magic words may be). Rather it’s about an unfolding story. One God asks us to have faith is being unveiled and told, even in the mundane. It's inspiring some days, boring others. But what is unfolding through all this is brilliant! I feel alive. I am wanting to go after more in my life, not sit around waiting for life to happen, I've got to live it.

Like Donald said of his own adventure hiking Machu Picchu, “ can take a train and then a bus, and you can hike a mile to the Sun Gate. But the people who took the bus didn’t experience the city as we experienced the city. The pain made the city more beautiful. The story [of getting there] made us different characters than we would have been if we had skipped the story and showed up at the end an easier way.”

I wanna hike. Wanna come?

p.s. he stood me up cause Barnes n Noble was closed (o; (don't hold it against him)


Anonymous said...

Nice. Confessions are good for the soul.

Anonymous said...

You should have more dates with Donald...maybe you can meet Donald at the library and invite him home for dinner? :) xoxo Lisa

Michael said...

I'm just saying... We like your blog.. But we want more.

Susie said...

My dates with Donald have sadly come to an end. He didn't have anything more to say (imagine). But those 'secret nights' sure were memorable. It got 2010 started off right! Watch out Planet I come!