i got a raise this week.  a big raise.

part of me was thrilled.  part of me was thankful that the company noticed my efforts and rewarded as such.  and for the rest of that day, i was filled with a temporal sense of happiness.  but then something changed.  and i think i’m only now beginning to understand.

my prayers of late have been those of struggle, of wanting to let go but fighting to hold on.  they have been those asking to be saved from the kingdom of self.

i wondered earlier this week, why the raise didnt make me happier.  why things didnt seem lighter or easier to deal with.  and i think im finally realizing that things will never fill the void.  i’ve always known that.  but i think that changes when you hit thirty.  and your attention shifts from work, the career, getting ahead, to the things that have a more eternal value.

our focuses shift to family, friends, and that place called home.  to the bigger story that each chapter of our lives has thus far alluded to.  and as our focus, as my focus shifts, i realize again that i dont want to be king.  i dont want to live my life pursuing my own comforts.

i want a battle to fight, a girl to fight for, and a story to live.

in a million miles in a thousand years donald miller writes about his experience of having a movie made about his first book.  a movie, literally made about his life.  and its during the making of the movie that he realizes that a movie about his life would be boring.  because his life, was boring.  his life wasnt a story worth telling.

i want a story, stories, worth telling.  stories of the battles, the girl, and amazing grace.  stories full of hope.

because it’s in those things, its in the heat of the battle that we learn the value of life.  it’s in the love and beauty of a woman that man finally begins to understand the mystery of grace.  and it’s in living through the story being told, that we see ineffable proof of an Author who cares more for us than we’ve yet begun to comprehend.

and if it takes walking through the storm, the storms, to get to the place where i can be that man.  the man who will fight, who will love, and who will follow the King of all stories…. then so be it.