I Am a Protagonist
Fiction is a complicated thing. Speaking as someone who has tried pretty much every kind of writing, I can say that fiction is the hardest. Yet it is also the most rewarding.
As the fiction writers, we spend our days creating character bios, mapping out our settings, describing everything from mythical worlds to coffee shops, and wracking our brains to figure out if the climax of the story should happen on a Monday or a Tuesday. It's a crazy world full of crazy people, whose best friends are the made-up characters in their latest story.
Having said all that, I can say with that much more certainty that I love being a writer. Despite the mind-wracking and plot twists, (not to mention the strange looks when you're caught talking to yourself), it's a crazy ride, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So during this time of gratitude for the calling God chose me for, I'd like to share with you a thought that came to me the other day. We're writers. We literally create worlds that have never existed. We create scenarios that have never happened. And we create people who never lived. Maybe our stories are all together possible, and could very well have happened in real life, but the details, the plots, the people never existed. It's fiction. It's our imaginations.
But to us, it's real. Even though we know that it's all made up, it's a part of us. And somewhere inside, we enjoy being able to slip into our alternate world, where we know what everyone's really thinking, we know what they're going to do next, and we know how it all ends.
There are some times that I don't want to leave the imaginary one to come back and face the real one. But being writers, knowing how it feels to transport yourself with your imagination into any place, and setting, anything, makes the reality of life that much more real. In the real world, we don't know how it ends. Everyone's not going to live happily ever after. We can't flip to the end of the book to see what happens.
That's when a thought came to me: I am a protagonist. My life has a setting, a full cast of characters, and a plot that is yet to be played out. There are supporting characters, antagonists, plot twists, everything. Because that is life, and life is where we get our stories from.
You're a protagonist. Your life has its own set of characters. Each of us has our own book, our own story. The only difference is, we're not the ones writing it. I don't know about you, but sometimes that makes me nervous. (I'm a self-admitted control-freak). We're not the ones with the pen. We can't just, with a few clicks of a keyboard, change the story's direction if we don't like where it's headed. We can't add or delete scenes. We can't create characters or situations. We can't change the story at all. We, the ones with so much power in the lives of made-up characters, have no control over our own.
And that's when a final thought hit me: That we writers, powerless as we may be, have a rare opportunity, if we're willing to notice it. In a small, fraction-of-a-percent way, we have the slightest glimpse of how God must feel. He has designed the setting. He is in control of the plot. He created the characters (us), and made us the protagonists of our individual stories. And He can see the ending.
We, on the other hand, can't. Just like, as we watch our characters develop and live their lives in a made-up world, we know the ending, but they don't.
Not to get preachy, (hey, this is for HIS glory), but that's why I don't know how I'd survive without Christ. Without knowing that, while this life can be scary, at least I can know how it's going to end. Not how each of us are going to get there, or what's going to happen along the way, but how it's going to end. And I can know that, no matter what happens, the author is in control, and this book we're living in is going to end alright.