Sometimes I wish I had a script for my life. It would be nice be able to have my lines already memorized and practiced when those difficult scenes come up, but I can’t. Instead, I must often ad lib as I muddle through unexpected trials and sticky situations.
We aren’t given a script, but we do have an incredible Director. He has written out all our days in His book before we lived any of them. He knows every detail of the how the ending will work out before the opening scene even takes place. And not just for our own personal lives, but for the entire earth and everyone in it. [Isaiah 44:7-8]
He has only let us see glimpses of His divine script. He is a Master Storyteller who delights in creating suspense, drama, and numerous plot twists. He likes to keep us on the edge of our seats. He wants us to “stay tuned” to Him and to this life He has called us to live. Often He employs mystery and intrigue to keep our attention riveted and our minds sharp.
Think about a book or movie that really kept you engaged. You know, the kind where you say to yourself “just one more chapter”, but at the conclusion of that chapter, you can’t stop yourself from peeking ahead to see what happens next and before you know it, you’ve read the next chapter entirely. Or when you are so glued to the movie that you don’t even want to hit pause to get up and go to the bathroom reasoning that you should be able to wait until it’s over to relieve yourself.
Would the story be as captivating if they told you all the twists and the outcome to every conflict ahead of time? Personally, I dislike most movie trailers. Poorly edited ones give away too much of the story. Then when I’m watching the movie, I am disappointed when I realize that I already know how this part of the story will turn out because I saw it on the trailer.
Do you have a favorite TV series drama? Would you record all the episodes and then watch the last one first so you know how it all ends? You want to watch them in order, right?
What about my sports fans? If you have to record the big game you want to see because you can’t watch it live, do you really want to hear how it all ends before you get to watch it unfold real time?
I love watching the Olympics. I love the stories of how the athletes got to where they are and all they had to overcome to do so. I love to watch “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” unfold before my eyes. (I always see that poor skier tumbling off the chute when I think of those words.
We don’t usually have a cable subscription, so I frequently watch the clips from my favorite Olympic events online. This is great because I get to skip the commercials and don’t have to sit through bobsledding to get to the ice skating (no offense to any bobsledders who might be reading this.) The downside is that everyone else already knows who got the gold and who bit the dust (or the ice as the case may be). When I go to the website to watch the videos, I have to intentionally and deliberately not look at the headlines and large pictures announcing the victors while I search for the tiny videos on the sidebar. I’m always disappointed when my eyes accidently catch a glimpse of the final results too soon.
Whether you’re a reader, a movie-goer, a TV addict, or a sports fan, we are all drawn to suspense and drama like moths to a flame. Why would we want our own lives to be any different?
Do you think it’s an accident that we humans love drama? I think God made us that way on purpose.
We often fail to appreciate the grand story that is unfolding all around us, right here, right now. Too often, we spend more time dwelling on stories that are mere fantasy than we do thinking about our own life story and how God is working in and through us.
The trouble is we are very impatient. We want a story that can all be neatly wrapped up in a 30-minute show, a 2-hour movie, or a 200-page book.
It takes a lot longer to see how God works everything for good in our own lives [Romans 8:28]. We often don’t give Him time to bring about the desired outcome or the fulfillment of His promises before we look at the mess we’re in and conclude that God is not really for us after all. He must be against us.
The human minds that birthed the stories we are captivated by are mere shadows of the mind of the One who is The Original Creator, The Supreme Artist, and a Master Storyteller. The people who create the stories we love were themselves created by One far greater.
How boring would our lives be if we already had everything memorized before it happened? God is many things, but He is never boring. On the contrary, He has a flair for the spectacular and dramatic. We are talking here about the mind that came up with things like:
~ Splitting the sea in half as a means of escape [Exodus 14:21-22]
~ A shepherd boy becoming a war hero by using a rock to take out a 9-foot giant that scared the wits out of an entire army of hardened soldiers [1 Samuel 17:49-50]
~ Swallowing up a disobedient dude inside a fish to teach him a lesson and bring salvation to an entire “enemy” city [Jonah 1:17]
~ Speaking to a “prophet” through a donkey—the donkey did a better job of listening to God than the man did [Numbers 22:28]
~ Using a power-hungry leader to prepare the way for His Good News to be announced to all people [Alexander the Great]
~ Confiscating a little boy’s lunch to feed 5,000+ hungry people [John 6:9]
~ Dying Himself to conquer Death once and for all and coming back alive to prove to us that He did it [2 Timothy 1:10 & many more!]
I could keep going, but you get the idea.
While He hasn’t given us a copy of His Script for our lives, He has promised us something even better—Himself. He won’t give us all the answers ahead of time, but instead He lives within us to give us Truth from the inside out. He is present whispering our lines and actions to our hearts in real time. [Isaiah 30:21] Are we listening?
We don’t get a script, but He did give us the Bible. This is a rich resource of God’s own personal wisdom for a life well-lived—the Director’s guide to playing our parts with passion, purpose, and power. There are also numerous synopses of other lives to learn from so we can emulate their successes and avoid their downfalls. If our hearts have absorbed the words of Scripture, we’ll be much better prepared for whatever life throws at us in the next scene.
God already told us which team walks away with the gold, but in the meantime, we still have to train hard and stay faithful. Biblical prophecy yet to be fulfilled is our action-packed “trailer” for what is to come.
When it’s time for the “credits” to roll at the end of our lives, what will it say next to our names?
Servant to all
Prayer Warrior . . .
And more importantly, are we giving Him the credit for the story of our lives?
Your life is an important episode of His-Story. Live it well. And don’t get frustrated and knotted up inside when you mess up your lines. There’s plenty of grace to go around for all of us.
It’s no use fretting and wringing our hands because we don’t have all the answers and we can’t see how it will all turn out. Let’s instead resolve to play our parts with purpose and grace. May we keep our eyes fixed on the Director and our ears tuned to His cues. Let’s leave the unknown to the only One who can handle it all. Decide now to enjoy the drama when it’s thrilling and exciting and persevere with hope when it’s painful and uncertain, knowing that when the final curtain closes, it will all have been worth it.