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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Director, I need your help

The Eternal will finish what He started in me. Your faithful love, O Eternal One, lasts forever; do not give up on what Your hands have made. (Psalm 138:8 VOICE)

God starts what only he can finish - so why is it we go about trying to "perfect" what he has a plan or purpose for, all in our own effort, under our own power?  I think we often take into our hands what is best left in God's.  Sometimes we need to allow God  the time a great craftsman must have to finish his work - to rush what can only be completed and perfected over time is not going to produce the same result.  Our psalmist is quite certain of one thing in this life - above all else, he knows God will finish what he begins.  Unlike the rest of us with "brilliant ideas" stored away in nooks and crannies everywhere, God isn't going to start what he has no intention of taking to fruition!

In the military, I was engaged in helping to produce live entertainment and theater productions for the troops.  In the realm of the rehearsal times, actors and actresses would "run lines" over and over again, practicing their positioning, perfecting their performance. In essence, as they practiced in those hours and hours of rehearsal, they were preparing for what would become the "live performance".  Life isn't too dissimilar for us - we spend a whole lot of time in the "rehearsal studio" perfecting our "live performance"!  All the while, God's hand is upon us, much like those who function as the director of the live theater production, guiding and reminding us where we should move, how we should speak, what our "lines" are in life.  Wouldn't it be silly for a group of actors to get out on the stage who have never been guided by the hand of the director?  It might even be labeled a little "chaotic"!  In fact, this is how we get the term "improv" - for in those moments all we can do is "improvise" the best we can without being totally sure what is coming our way.

Some might think we go through life living within a series of "improv' moments - like there was no preparation necessary - we could just get out there and live.  Having tried it both ways, I would have to say my preference is the well-rehearsed, well-learned, and well-prepared "living" instead of the mystery of the "improv"!  We get too interested in the action or movement of life.  The "inactivity" of preparation seems a little like "marching in place". We are often the most discontent in the place which will help us learn contentment and assurance more than anything else!  Improvising through all of life may get us through, but do we come out as well as if we had have submitted to the direction of the one who began the work in us and really wants to be the one to perfect it, as well?

I think we might just find those moments of preparation pay a bigger "dividend" than those moments where we are flying by the seat of our pants.  To learn to be content in the "rehearsal hall" of life is hard - because we want to see results.  Results aren't always immediate, though.  Sometimes we need more "polishing" in order to display the depth of character.  This was often the hardest lesson for some of the actors on stage to learn - the "polishing" of character required the willingness to listen to the director, adapt to what he said, and then do it all over again until that "depth" was second-nature.  We don't want to overlook the direction of God's hand, nor do we want to limit the influence of it either.  Just sayin!