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Story Beats

Have you seen the Lord of the Rings? What if the entire movie was just the exciting fight scenes – Aragon hewing down orcs and Legolas slaying fell beasts with arrow after arrow?


It would suck.


But why? Aren’t those some of our most memorable moments of the movie? Yeah, totally (like when Aragon fights off the Ringwraiths – what a badass!) But, they were memorable because something was at stake. You had just watched two hours of characters bonding, sharing laughter, struggling through hardship, and now the happy or sad ending for their story hangs in the balance.


The slower story beats are the foundation for the moments of crescendo.

I think life’s that way too. Don’t we sometimes mindlessly plow through the valleys and plateaus of life’s rhythm and keep our eyes solely on the high notes? Always looking at the road signs to see when the next checkpoint is instead of taking in the beauty around you.


I can’t wait to get my driver’s license, to graduate,

to get married, to have kids, to get that raise or promotion,

to get a better house, to finally go to Hawaii,

to fund my retirement, to buy that Porsche.


Those are great things. Those are awesome crescendos of a full story. But they are not even close to making a good story. You need the in-between chapters, the day-to-day, the rote, the mundane – these offer the total array of colors to paint a beautiful life. Reading with my daughter on a Tuesday night. Chopping garlic for a delicious meal. Shushing my crying 4-month-old.


I have been called to the everyday. Joy is there. God is there.


Take it in. Be present. Give yourself to regular things. Otherwise, you might miss out on Gandalf’s calm exhortation to Frodo, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”