My mother was great at editing my school papers, and one thing she always drilled into my head was to “stick to the thesis!” The thesis statement was the main point of my paper. What was I really trying to say?
Like a thesis, stories have a central plot, and things start to get dull in a story when it spends too much time with stuff that doesn’t impact that central plot. The central plot always involves a main character trying to overcome obstacles to achieve his/her most important goal while there’s still time.
So, what’s your greatest goal?
In fact, we lost the plot in the first place because of asking this wrong question.
Believe it or not, you’re not the main character here. Me neither. We were “created” for a purpose, remember?
Here’s the breakdown of our story, THE story:
- Hero: God is the protagonist, who made us to have an awesome love relationship with Himself and others.
- Conflict: We stole ourselves from Him, wanting to be the god of our own life, and made a mess of everything.
- Turning Point: Our hero literally fought Hell and Death to buy us back.
- Rising Action: A chain reaction where God’s children spread the word and are freed from slavery
- Climax: Jesus comes back, fixes everything and we dance around forever in a way we’d never have danced before knowing what God was willing to go through for us.
Did you catch that? He made us AND He bought us. We are doubly owned and doubly valued. What a hero! So what’s our part in this epic story (and by epic, I don’t mean the epic win you find on YouTube of somebody scoring a crazy-lucky basket from across the gym)?
We’ve got two jobs, and you can’t do one without the other:
1. Love God and others with all you’ve got (Matthew 22:37-39)
2. Help other people do the same (Matthew 28:18-20)
Supporting characters in a story only show up when they’ve got something to do with the main plot, with the hero. Everything else in life is a boring side-trail. The word “sin” was actually an archery term that meant to miss the bull’s-eye. I want to be in the story as much as I can, to stay on target and run the race for the prize.
But, some of those side-trails can look more like the main plot sometimes, right? Keep reading to see how having the right perspective can make all the difference.