Friday, January 01, 2010

Characters, Plots, and Story

The USA network is running one of the best commercials right now. It consists of vignettes of many of the actors in their lineup telling a little about themselves and ending with a run through again where each says "I'm a character."

Yes they are. And so are we.

We are all different.

Our experiences have colored us. The context we grew up in has formed us. There's a reason the smell of collard greens is wafting this way from the kitchen, and why I had to reach deep into the shelf at Publix to get a bag of black-eyed peas which are even now cooking alongside their leafy green brethren. We're Southerners. It's New Year's Day. Time to eat black-eyed peas so we'll have a prosperous New Year.

Yet not every year works out that way, does it?

The plots of our lives take strange and twisting turns at times. We can be headed in one direction and find that the living out of our lives take us in others not of our choice -not to our liking. The road we find ourselves on can lead through places of hardship - even pain.

Or we can find ourselves the beneficiaries of such surpassing joy that we can hardly contain it. Every day seems filled to the brim with possibilities for more.

And how can we...

know what or which will happen?

As a believer in and follower of Jesus, I am part of a bigger story than just my part in it. Yes, I'm a character in the story, and I have a role to live out that can somehow make a difference in it. The Author of the story knows all about me as a character in it, and regardless of how my choices direct the plot in one direction or another, can write the story to come to the conclusion in any way He chooses.

And He's chosen to work everything together for good.

But what does "good" mean?

Well, that depends on the character of the Author, doesn't it?

His best selling book tells us that He is the author of life and the author of our salvation - our rescue. It describes Him as the God of all compassion and comfort. It says that everything good comes from Him. In its pages He's described as just, as right, as truth itself - and as love personified. Not the kind of love that rushes in at the last minute, but the kind that knows everything about you and loves you anyway.

In 2010, I want to read more about the Author and His work.

And I want to be more of a character in it.

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