Yes, you. Right there. The one staring at this screen.
There are special scenes in your life. There are moments dear and sweet, the ones that make the heart swell with joy. Marriage, new birth, the laughter of family and friends. There are settings you cherish, places that make your story that much more profoundly joyful. What are some of yours? Mine are right here in my amazing home, out on a muddy field throwing a Frisbee around with great friends, or up on a special farm hill where I share many a laidback, peaceful evening.
There are hard times in your life too, pain that makes the heart sink--low points more sharp and breathtaking than most stories. Death, betrayal, broken relationships, sickness. Most of these can be found in bleak settings, just like the special scenes can be found in cherished settings. Can you remember some of them? Mine are found in my truck, rain pounding the roof of my car, and I'm crying; a dark and empty bed room that my torn heart is unable to find sleep in; a lifeless hospital room, staring at the tiny, cold face of my little sister who will never get a chance to live in this world.
There are times where you just plod along, day after day. Five days a week at the office. 24/7 as a stay at home mom. Grade upon grade as a student. But in your plodding you find yourself. You find what is worth living for, and what the purpose of your life will be.
Combine all these moments that have made you, and your life is a masterpiece, written before time began by the (said with a hard "e" for emphasis) Master Storyteller. You are a character larger than life, complete and fleshed out in every detail. Your personality, your features, your desires, your quirks--all tied perfectly in and essential to the story that stretches from eternity to eternity. We all are these incredible characters, every person on earth. Those characters in the stories you love so much? The ones you thought were so real, so personable? The ones that you cheered for and loved or booed and hated as if they were almost as real as you yourself? They are but shadows, a faint echo of the vast array of characters God has created in humanity.
Through the ups and downs--the joy and the grief, the victories and the defeats, the dreams and the nightmares--you are learning there is a God, and He cannot be denied. You will accept Him, and live an abundant chapter in this grand story, a chapter that glorifies the Master Storyteller. Or you may reject Him and ignore His authorship, but in the end, you will be a part of the story still.
You see, this is not necessarily a motivational speech, because not every character are good guys. There be bad guys, more nefarious then any villain created in story. God uses them to tell His story (also known as history) just as He uses the good guys. They are essential to the plot as well.
So who are you? What will your grand story tell? Will it shout the wonders of the Lord of Heaven and Earth? Will it be a grand mystery that even the angels long to look in to? Or will you be the contrast, the desperate depravity of a creature who refuses to accept a God-honoring role in history. Will you be the black background to the brilliant white of God's redeeming love? For every Moses, there is a Pharaoh. His hard heart was still used to tell of God's power and glory, but at the cost of his soul.
Our Sovereign Author gives you that choice. You can choose to be cast as a hero or a villain. Your choice will be eternal, so choose wisely! You can live a life that pleases Him! But don't think for an instant your choice will catch our Creator off guard. It's your choice, but He has already molded you. You won't be able to understand how it works, how you can live a life of complete freedom of choice and yet still have your life written out before you began, but trust the Author. Willingly die to self so that you may pour your life into a few words of His grand, eternal epic. It may be nothing more than a few letters your life adds, but even those few jots on eternity's page are marvelous.
I began looking at you as your own marvelous story, and you most definitely are that. But then we zoomed out together a little further, to His story on earth, and you became less of a story and more of a character in a chapter of history. What an amazing character you are though! We zoomed even further out to eternity, and you became only a few words, maybe only a few letters. But without you, the story wouldn't be complete. There would be a missing piece, a terrible, jarring typo in the pages of eternity. The only thing worse would be to have every letter of your life recorded in sin. Don't let your character be depraved and lost, and don't let your grand story be one of tragedy, I beg you!
I pray, instead, that your story be one of marvelous wonder, and your character redeemed and alive with joy. May the letters of your life be crimson, written with the ink of Christ's life-giving blood!
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.