Unwilling Victims vs. Grateful Participants


I am re-reading Donald Miller’s book: “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.”

There were so many prophetic things that Miller said that I thought it would be worth my time to re-read the book and journal along with it. It is a book about story. It is a meditation on the elements of story and what it takes to make a story {life} meaningful. Miller argues that “if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful (ex. if a biography was written on your life), it won’t make a life meaningful either.”

On page. 59, Miller writes:

“I’ve wondered, though, if one of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don’t want the responsibility inherent in the acknowledgement. We don’t want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn’t remarkable, then we don’t have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims rather than grateful participants.”

I’m not arguing that being a victim is a matter of choice in all cases. Sadly there are many victims in this world. At many points in our lives we all have been victimized in one way or another. But I am arguing that the posture we take towards life IS a choice. We can live our lives playing the role of a victim, or we can live our lives playing the role of “grateful participants.”

The choice is in your perception of life. Is life brilliant, or is it not? If you decide that it is, you have a responsiblity to live differently than most of the rest of the world….even in the face of utter conflict.

One of the key struggles is in choosing to change your thinking. I struggle every day with thoughts that tell me I am not enough…that I am a victim of the evil in this world and the sin that I carry.

But how can I go on like this? The meta-narrative of the universe says that God died on a cross and rose to life to save me from my debilitating sins so that I can be a “grateful participant” in the life and mission of God.

Let us choose to throw off our sinful “woe is me” thought patterns, and join God as participants in His love.

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