Powered By Hope » Blog Archive » Tell a Great Story: Create an Inciting Incident

Last week, we discussed the importance of envisioning a climactic scene as you seek to tell a great story with your life.  Now it’s time to actually create the climactic scene–what Don Miller calls an “inciting incident.” The good news is that you’ve already done the first part.

Don describes an inciting incident this way, “Characters don’t change without being forced to change. An inciting incident is the event in a movie that causes upheaval in the protagonist life. The protagonist, then, naturally seeks to return to stability. And in order to do that, he HAS to solve his new problem.” After this moment, there is no turning back.

Whether you knew it or not, you created an inciting incident in your life when you signed up to run or walk the half marathon. Congratulations.

An inciting incident works because you now have too much invested to be willing to let yourself fail. You have already told people you will cross the finish line on April 24. Your teammates or training partner waits for you each Saturday. And, your friends and family are already donating to the cause. Your public commitment forces you to follow through, to change, to grow into a person who faces big challenges and accomplishes seemingly impossible goals. That is a powerful thing if you press into it.

When you think about it, God creates his own inciting incidents for us all the time. He allows challenges, both good and bad, to come into our life on a regular basis to help us become the people he has called us to be. As we grow in maturity and faith, we can do this for ourselves as we choose to do hard things that give us the opportunity to grow and develop along the way. The payoff is huge. Just wait and see.

Read Don Miller’s wonderful posts on an alternative to New Year’s resolutions here.