Choose YOUR Own Adventure: Guest Blog by Andy Rider

I’m so proud to have Andy Rider as a guest writer on EmandaSays! Andy is a number cruncher by day and a humorist by real-life. He’s got a passion for living life with purpose, integrity, taking risks and humor. After reading his post, you should watch him here and giggle with me. Now onto our show!

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I like to start books at the end to see if it’s worth reading it. I realize this is a bit odd and probably ‘spoils’ the whole thing, but I want to make sure the book is worth reading. Does the hero achieve their goal or is this a book where the hero doesn’t make it out well?  Will the dragon be slain or does the dragon demolish everyone only to get his in the end when he realizes he’s eaten his entire food supply and will soon starve to death?  Has the hero learned their lesson or will they forever remain a heartless jerk?   If it’s the latter of any of those I generally don’t read it because I don’t find it to be worth my time.

In my humble opinion the reason we read through books is to get to the end.  We go through the struggles and trials or, if it’s a non-fiction book, the essays, to see how things turn out for the characters or to see what we’ve learned.  I assume it’s the same reason people play sports, to win.  I’ve never met or heard an athlete speak about the wonders and joys of loss and the fantastic lessons they learned from it.  If they are speaking of a lesson they learned from a loss it’s usually how they used it to get a win.

I recently read and re-read Don Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years based on the recommendation of Mandy Fisher herself.  One of the things that came out of this, besides my not reading the ending before I started the book, was that I began to see my life as a story of sorts.  This was both enlightening and frightening at the same time to me because if it’s true than that means my life has an ending.  I realize everyone’s life has an ending and we’re all going to die (please feel free to take a moment and get a drink of water while you let that bit of news sink in).  I mean that our lives could have good endings or bad endings and we actually have responsibility as to how it turns out.

Remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? 

I used to love those until I found out just how bad I was at them.  I regularly made wrong choices.  Batman was killed in a phone booth because of me.  Commissioner Gordon died in a car bombing.  Shipwreck and Lady Jane met the end of their mortal coil due to a faulty dock.  That’s blood I will never get off my hands and what’s more, this happened regularly to me.  Sometimes I did it innocently enough, other times I did it even though I knew the consequences, but I was in a bad mood that day. So you can understand the fear I feel when I know that I am the captain of my own personal ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book.

Not that I worry that somebody’s going to wire my car to detonate or that I might let my own personal ‘Two-Face’ get away again simply because I didn’t really feel like chasing them in the first place.  I worry that when all is said and done that I will not have success.  I’m not talking mansions or nice cars.  I want success in my chosen field.  I want a job in which I am paid to create and perform comedy.  This isn’t a little goal and it could change five-ten years from now, but for now this is what I’m pursuing and I worry that I will give it up because it’s easier to start walking than it is to keep running when you can’t see the finish line.

There are conflicts.

People and events affect your life, whether they mean to or not.  It happens.  Perhaps this is where being Christ-like comes into play.  Maybe, just maybe, you have to shrug it off and keep pushing forward despite the fact that people might be standing in your way.  That’s where you come in because it really is easier to blame quitting on the people and the events that came into play, but you still have the ability to say yes or no, keep at it or quit, keep writing or just sit and wait for the end.

Christ is the still quiet voice.  You’re the person that responds.

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