I decided to pick up a book before my little trip to my old stomping grounds in West Palm Beach I wanted to finish it on vaca and yes, I expected inspiration, and yes, I got it.
Donald Miller's new book " A Million Miles In A Thousand Years "
'What I Learned While Editing My Life' is like the new, mature, go getter , glass half full, older brother of his well known book
" Blue Like Jazz ".
This definition got caught in my mind.
A part in the story where it changes everything, alters everything from how it was to there's no choice but to change. To launch into what is next.
The term is used by Screen Writers called the " Inciting Incident " in stories, plays, movies.
What is an Inciting Incident?
The inciting incident is the moment or plot point in a script that kicks the story into motion. It occurs after the set up or exposition and everything that follows the inciting incident should be a result of the inciting incident. It is where a story really begins.
It is that moment in the script where the protagonist’s world is turned upside down and he/she must then set about resolving the change in circumstances that the incident has brought about. It is generally a clear and defined moment that is easily identifiable.
That incident that launches your story to change.
We all have things that flash through our minds- experiences that are almost highlighted in happy annoying yellow. The ones that altered us.
Example of some of my inciting incidents: I'll list the two off the top of my head.
The Boy gave me a ring, I said yes
Getting a disease as a healthy 18 year old
The boy gave me the ring, and it suddenly changed.
I decided there to promise sacrificial love until I die, and will re-promise at our wedding, but it happens right then, right there.
The disease altered life, everything turned upside down.
I was utterly humbled, utterly desperate, utterly fell in love with Jesus.
It all in some way changed everything , turned the page, altered my story.
Moving to a new place does this instantly to most people and it's the most common Inciting Incident I believe. Which I've done. A few times, and I'm so glad I did.
A line from Donald Miller's book:
"Humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort, they won't enter into a story. They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen. "
Most of us don't want anymore " waves " in our lives.
My dad is 50. He ran a marathon, his ankles popping out of socket, lightning and everything, I haven't even done this.
My good friend got yet another bad health report in which he's had health issues his whole life. Do I have that perseverance?
This boy who has autism , I stopped feeling bad for him, -he has kindness pouring out of his eye sockets,so much so It gave me chills and made me want to cry, he thinks of others, the most innocence I've experienced in a long time. Do I have that kindness?
Marathons are "waves", health issues, autism.
The thought of our stories we are living giving us our character, the conflict being the thing that changes us.
another quote from the book:
" We are designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the charatcer arc, the change. "
You know, before I got really ill. I was taking advantage of grace.
Nothing could affect my heart anymore.
I was full of myself.
I wasn't talking to God anymore, I didn't believe in him, I didn't want to HEAR anymore about Him.
I grew up in the church, I'm a pastor's kid, I worked FOR a church and yet... what happened to my faith?
Until, My story changed. My life was called to action.
God used the very thing people apologized about to me saying:
" You are to young to have a disease, I am so sorry you have to go through this. "
But, God healed my soul through the disease that racked my body.
This is when the beginning of the concept of that life is not supposed to be comfy, that maybe that is true that we are designed to endure things, for the sake that we are going to be changed.
The Inciting Incident throwing us into a better story.
This is not something that is easy for well...anyone, I mean , I rather watch Elf some days
( Elf can be watched at anytime of the year in my mind. ) with Nutella , and refuse to confront some of the ( excuse my french ) crap, that life flaunts.
It is adventure, it is trusting God, It is throwing yourself into a better story to live.
I want to live a better story.