Author Dallas Willard says that “we make the decisions that determine what we will do and who we will become” through our “lifescape,” the thoughts for our will and our life.
Often our lives are moving so fast that we don’t often stop to check out this life-map to notice whose agenda we’re on. Not until there’s a major bump in the road, and even then we can be coaxed to continue on a route that is detrimental if we don’t stop and re-evaluate.
In the movie Larry Crowne, after a period of hopeful job searching, Larry realizes that he can no longer afford his home and goes to the bank to release it. However, the bank manger insists Larry sit down with a ‘free’ (exaggerated) cup of coffee to talk it over and ends with Larry still owning a home he can’t afford. He has accepted her thought position and bowed to her cheerful pressure.
However several weeks later, after studying a basic economics class at the junior college, he spends an evening going through all his papers, chooses an envelope, drops in a key and the next morning hands the package to the bank manager telling her that he will vacate the premises within thirty days. As he strides away she still coaxes him to come and have a “free” cup of coffee to re-consider.
The first encounter increased his confusion and depression. The second released him from a burden he could not carry. Although his job loss instigated the situation, Larry’s new perspective enabled him to see that he himself had made choices for the wrong reasons and then allowed others to determine his personal map. Now he was setting a new course for himself based on emotional and financial honesty.
1. Choose a situation for your character outlining a course of action that is not beneficial to them. How does a family member, or work associate, ‘sell’ this course of action to them in order to serve themselves?
2. What knowledge will your character need to see the real “lifescape”?