Friday, July 16, 2021

What Is Your Life Story?

Do you worry about the future? Do you wake up in the middle of the night and ask yourself questions such as: What if I lose my job and have financial problems? What if I develop a chronic illness? What if a loved one dies suddenly? What if the loved one who dies suddenly is ME?!

Wow, the future can be very scary. That’s because the future is the great unknown, and we instinctively are fearful and anxious about the unknown. However, as Christians, we’ve been given assurance that “all things work for good for those who love the Lord” (Romans 8:28). We have a divine promise that the future will be filled with joy and glory.

Now, of course, there might be temporary heartache and pain before we experience God’s eternal joy and glory. But the story of our lives WILL have a happy ending.

Is your personal story like an epic novel? How about an action movie? Maybe a Broadway musical? Or possibly a made-for-TV movie that ends up on the Hallmark Channel every December?
It doesn’t matter if your story is a 3-volume saga, like The Lord of the Rings, or just a brief tale on a 30-minute sitcom. What is important is to understand that your story is real. God created each and every one of us to be the lead character in an exciting drama.
I bet you didn’t know that you are the star of an important production. Yes, I agree it’s very unlikely that any of our personal stories will win the Academy Award or a Pulitzer Prize. For most of us, our individual story will be viewed only by our close family and friends, rather than millions of moviegoers. But that’s OK. Each of our stories also is being watched with rapt attention by God Almighty.

Try this exercise: instead of looking at your life from the ground level, look at it from 30,000 feet up in the air. Let me explain. The ground level view of life focuses on current activities: eat, sleep, go to work, get stuck in traffic, watch some TV, take a shower, pay the bills, and then wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.

The 30,000 foot view looks at the entire journey of your life. Where and when were you born? Where did you grow up? What did you do in school? Who did you marry? Where did you live? How many kids did you have? What do you do for work? Who are your friends? Where do you go to church?
Every event of your life has been part of God’s plan. Every step of your journey weaves a fascinating tale, which is leading to a grand finale. 
In God’s epic story of your life, it’s not quite like the movies, with high-speed car chases and explosions in the final scenes. Instead, it’s usually more subdued, but equally as exciting. Remember that Jesus Himself made it clear that your divine mission in life is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. So, the grand finale of your life story focuses on love.

Who is the person in your life who needs a little love? Is it a grandchild who needs some of your wisdom? Is it a co-worker or neighbor who needs a sympathetic friend? Is it a despondent fellow at the local soup kitchen who needs a smiling volunteer to let him know he’s not forgotten?

Please don’t make the common mistake of thinking that all the exciting and important parts of life occur when people are young and healthy and in their prime. Many people assume their lives are going to wind down with age and illness, and finally end with an anonymous whimper. Nope, that’s not how God writes His stories. All of us can have a big impact, even at the end of our earthly journey.
We just have to remember that God promised glory and joy to all those who trust in Him. Also, even though car chases and explosions are exciting ways to conclude an action movie, in God’s story of our life, the most exciting thing we can do is enter into loving relationships with other people.

So, please don’t worry about the unknown future. You are the star of a thrilling adventure story that’s heading into the climactic third act. Who knows, maybe your wonderful life story will win the Academy Award after all.

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