Me and God Almighty
I guess the bigger question than "Should I have a 57th serving of turkey?" that came out of this past Thanksgiving weekend was...
"Can Zac Efron really act?!?"
A fair question, wouldn't you say? If Zac were like most other tween and teen heartthrobs, he would get parts more on the basis of his looks than his acting ability. But it seems like Zac's has broken free of the High School Musical ghetto. That just might be on par with landing a role in an Orson Welles production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in New York City.
What a coincidence, then, that in Me and Orson Welles, Zac does just that, playing a wanderlusting suburbanite wanting to escape the classroom doldrums and experience big dreams of the big stage with a larger-than-life director.
And that's just what he gets. Now I know that the acting skills required in scenes like "Bet on it" and "The Boys are Back" intimidate even the most confident performers, but mega kudos to Zac for venturing-and succeeding-to define himself beyond the blue-eyed chirpy teenybopper.
In my opinion, the heart of this film is the concept of art. Not like some painting on the wall, but BIG art, as in the blood, sweat and tears that go into any grand production in an effort to take the audience's breath away. At the end of Me and Orson Welles, you get to see what happens when, under the direction of a genius, different people come together to pull off a masterpiece.
Have you ever been a part of creating a masterpiece? Maybe with a group of athletes that gelled and dominated with athleticism and teamwork. Maybe with a musical band that finally united in perfect rhythm to move the listener to a state of awe, or a theater group that got over pride and prejudice to produce unforgettable stage magic.
But you are definitely part of creating a masterpiece with your fellow Christians who, under the direction of the world's greatest Genius, are living out the greatest story ever told:
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT).
When you trusted in Christ for salvation and became a Christian, God started a process in you that is absolutely incredible. He is making you into a "masterpiece" for all the world to see. And what's more, He has given us all a part in this worldwide production that will take the world's breath away:
Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people... The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't, the parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. You are Christ's body - that's who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your "part" mean anything (1 Corinthians 12:6-7, 18-27 The Message).
Even if you don't feel like you're playing a major role in God's master production, you are a major part in His eyes!
What's even more amazing is that in the original language of the Bible, the word "masterpiece" ("poeima" in the original language of the Bible used by Paul in Ephesians) is where we get our word "poem." That means we are God's poetry. Isn't that a great thought? Long before you were even a sparkle in your parents' eyes, you were a complete story in your heavenly Father's mind. Before the earth began, He had already pulled out the heavenly paper and wrote your name at the top - and a smile came across Jesus' face as He envisioned what your life would look like if you decided to live out the "good things he planned for us long ago."
So... you, me, and every Christian in the world are living works of art that God is "writing" like a script to show the unbelieving audience of the world how much He loves them. He is the greatest director and producer of all time, and He wants you to take the stage and deliver your lines to the people in the dark who came to witness a life-changing story.
Since the gospel is the most life-changing story in the universe, the question is: are you willing, like Zac Efron's character, to escape suburban Christianity and join the troupe that's performing each and every day to a crowd in desperate spiritual need? It's hard work, and there are many ups and downs, but at the end of this spectacle called life, you will hear the deafening applause of heaven - and Jesus Himself.
I don't know about you, but that's what I want. That's why each day I try to write good poetry into my life by praying and asking how Jesus would handle situations while also looking for ways to touch other people's lives with the love of God and the gospel of Christ. It helps me to remember that each day, the lines have already been written for me...I just need to deliver them with passion and authenticity.
Remember that you are not some random being who is the product of random chance. You are a masterpiece...God's living poem...His work of art. You have a distinct role to play in His production of life.
Ready to take the stage? Me too!
This week, think of your unsaved family and friends as an "audience" with a strong desire to see you perform your role as God's masterpiece while you deliver the lines of the gospel.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace (Acts 20:24).