I was sitting in the movie theatre the other night with some friends. Opening night.. or pre-opening night? The theatre was packed to capacity. There was excitement and anticipation. The teenagers were hyper and enthusiastic. The popcorn was being eagerly devoured while everyone waited for the screen to light up. And there were cheers when it did and the opening soundtrack began.
I wondered for a moment about how eager people are for adventure. For imagination. To find a place where they can leave reality at the door for a few hours and immerse their minds in a fantasy. In a story that we all know isn't real, and yet affects us and pulls us in anyway.
But telling a story is more than that. At least, it is to me.
I reached a point growing up where I grew tired of the same stories recycled over and over again. I got tired of those fake worlds with ideas written in the sky; in places where we don't live. We lose ourselves in that world only to come back down to earth afterward and wonder what it was all for. A momentary thrill of "if only" and "what if"? I searched for something different.
Do you know what I love about a story? It's the truth inside the lie. It's discovering meaning inside the struggle.
Our battles aren't nearly so elaborate as the screen depicts. They aren't so epic and rarely does the world watch us as if the whole universe hangs in the balance and we are its heroes. Rarely does the world see or care about our real battles. The ones inside us. The mundane battles we face in our daily lives. But I have to believe they are just as meaningful.
Because of the Master Storyteller behind our reality. It's where the fabric for our stories come from. Stories of good and evil. Stories of courage and hope. That somehow, no matter how bad things look, it will all be good in the end. It will be worth it.
We all experience loss and thunder storms in life. We all experience the long awaited Summer sun after a long Winter.
I hope we can remember not to get so lost in someone else's daydream—in the fictional heroes—that we forget the importance of our own heroic life's journey. That we can be heroes every day. There IS a story going on that we are a part of and it is an important one.
I believe a writer isn't just a dreamer. I believe the writer sees the unseen—the inner hero, the battles in the soul—and we take that and tell a story in hopes of revealing that truth to others. The ones who can tell that, and tell it well, are the stories I want to see. The ones that encourage and uplift. To remind someone to be brave. To never give up. And that we are never truly alone. That life has purpose.