For two weeks, students are busy working on a final video class project, Storyboarding my life.1 As I prepared for the lesson (and taught it three times) I shared my life story and reflected on my life's purpose, theme, and direction. I was greatly encouraged seeing how the Father has directed, transformed, and renewed me. (Hint, my life's theme is Romans 12:2)
Here's what the students did and I encourage you to do the same with your own life. We begin at the beginning, what's happened so far?
PART I – CONTENTThe students created great timelines reflecting their lives' events in positive and negative terms. We had sticky notes everywhere. All over desks, in notebooks, in lines, and even in a circle. It was great to visually see their lives in yellow and blues, reds and greens, positives and negatives. I encourage you to create your own timeline. When you're finished, continue and look at your life's events and discern a theme:
First, I need to determine the content of my life storyboard. I do this by:
- Remembering important facts in my life
- Understanding them in positive and negative terms
- Applying “chapters” or “scene titles” to my life events.
PART II – ESTABLISH A THEMEIf you are visual, create a Venn diagram to illustrate these points. One circle has what you want your life to be about (ideal life) and the other circle has your life's events (reality). If these circles are quite different, there is a huge problem: Your theme doesn't match your life. Something must change to make these circles overlap more and more. What about you? How's your life's theme match your life? What needs to change?
Next, I need to perceive my life’s purpose to establish a theme for the story by:
- Analyzing what I consider or want to be the theme (purpose) of my life, especially in relation to my life content.
- Evaluating whether my life events communicate well or poorly my life theme. If there are incongruencies, what needs to change – my theme or the direction my life events seem to be taking me?
Students struggled with this part. Many commented that they had never thought about their life's theme before. I encouraged them to look carefully at their life and discern their life's direction. Where's their life heading? Is their life going in the direction they desire? Does it match their life's purpose?
Then as a class, we discussed point of view and perspective. Who has the best perspective on your life to tell you if your theme (purpose) matches your life's actions. Is it a friend, spouse, parent, teacher? Or is it God?
Lastly, we examined where we are in our life's journey, our life's "plot structure."
PART III – PLOT STRUCTUREI encourage you to live according to your purpose. In the end, who determines our purpose? Our Creator.
Finally, I need to storyboard my life by laying out the basic plot structure. I do this by:
- Creating a discernible storyline; I fit my life content into either Introduction, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, or Conclusion.
- Pay attention to the climax’s relationship to my theme. In other words, what I consider to be the climax/turning point in my life should directly relate to what I consider the theme of my life. It’s possible my life has not yet had a climax.
1 This project is not of my own design. Many thanks to my former teammates for this great lesson plan and life lesson. It has been truly insightful for me.