Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Stages of life
I'm fascinated as I read the bible. I'm fascinated as I watch the narrative unfold in its stories. Often, as I read, as I watch the story develop, it's clear that God has stepped off the stage. The story of David is one I just finished reading, but there are others, stories of lives unfolding before our eyes. I watch as God steps back to let the characters of the story make decisions, take action and live out their lives. And, at times God seems to be nowhere in sight.
Then, when all the choices are made, God comes back on stage to commentary the deeds of the story we have been reading.
I think he often does that in my life. Seldom does he call from heaven to tell me, "Stop that! What are you doing? What are you thinking?" In fact he's never done that for me! Instead, I have his word and from his word and the work of his Spirit in my life, I live out my play, stage by stage, act by act. There are times when I know God is there, on stage with me, but at other times he seems to step back....he allows me to stand or fall, to make decisions and then he returns and we talk about the choices I made.
I remember vividly, as I read the end of Luke, while Jesus is being mocked and tortured Peter denies three times he even knew Jesus. Then the cock crows and Jesus turns and looks at Peter. Peter catches Jesus' look, and runs away weeping. Later, after the resurrection, Jesus and Peter deal with this as Jesus asks, "Peter, do you love me?"
There are stages in each of our lives. Stages and times when we put on masks and pretend to be someone we aren't. Pretend to do the right thing when we don't. The world watches as we act out our little play, but then God comes on stage and we talk about the fraud I have been. The lie I have tried to hide. The deeds I have done.
Each of us lives out our own little play. Each of us experiences a time when God has left the building and we are left alone to our own choices, but soon, when the curtain opens for the next act, God steps on stage and the truth comes out. How can we think that our masks hide anything? Everyone else is wearing a mask, everyone knows we wear one too. Why not surprise the audience and be who you really are, be honest and trust God for the results? I see a few, but there are more behind them, who are taking off the masks and living their lives for all to see. How wonderful it would be to hear God say, as he comes on the stage of your life and the curtain rises for the final act, "Well done...."
(To read David's story read 2 Samuel 11-12.)