i went to see donald miller speak in vancouver the other night, his first date on a 65-city book tour over the next 2 months.
he walks out to the front of this church, everyone claps and he starts to talk.
and he’s not like one of those musicians or speakers or authors that seems approachable and warm in their work and then get on a stage to be a total recluse. i love miller’s writing because he’s hilarious and broken and … real. it was such a relief that what can be said of his work can be said of him. he is those things.
“a million miles in a thousand years” is his most recently penned work. it’s basically about how he dove into this lull after “blue like jazz” became uber-popular and how he was taken out of it by two movie producers who approached him to make a movie out of said book. miller goes on to edit his life and this book is about that insane process, what he discovered about how boring his life really was.
so i sat there for an hour, listening to this dude. i scribbled notes and laughed and wanted to go home just so i could start reading the book i was getting an oral report on.
he spoke mainly of story structure and what makes a good story. conflict, resolution, antagonists, plot…
and what had became story structure dissection in his own life, became about ours. and our stories.
and i could chuck out chunks of notes and things i nabbed from out of his talk, but here is what i found most profound.
it is the most important part of the story.
when adam was in the garden, before he had eve, he was lonely. he wanted someone. he desired someone. and God didn’t fulfill that desire. instead, he told adam to go and name the animals. miller explained the stats on this one that figured with all the species and sub-species out there, it could have taken adam 10-15 years to name them all.
so he sat around naming animals when all he wanted was another that was like him. it was his conflict.
then he got her. God made her for him.
and what spoke so clearly to me was when miller said, “if the conflict wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have valued her.”
he went on to say, “conflict is actually an incredible blessing. it is going to make my story incredible.”
when i got back home, i propped a pillow behind my back and cracked open his shiny, new book.
chapter one, page six.
“i can imagine what kind of conversation God and danielle will have, how she’ll sit and tell God the favorite parts of the story he gave her.”
i choked up. kinda like a kid who got exactly what they wanted for christmas. that sort of choking up.
because i have felt in the conflicts like if God made the wave pool, why can’t he slow down the waves? cut me a break, or at least make them smaller. sheesh.
but he is building me in the conflict. it is an incredible blessing.
it’s all part of the story he is giving me.
and i guess this means that even though i’m only at chapter four, i highly recommend miller’s newest.
go hug your conflict.