I tend to overcomplicate things, but I once heard a guy really simplify our story. He said that the gospel was basically a play in four acts:
- Creation, freedom and deep fellowship with the Father
- Broken relationship and life under law
- Restored fellowship with the Father and the offer of freedom
- Restoration of all things eternally
We are about 2,000 years into act three, but I am continually surprised by how often life looks like we’re still living in act two. I can’t imagine why anyone would choose the yoke of slavery when restoration, healing and freedom are offered, but they do. So do I.
Scratching around for reasons to why this is, I came up with a few:
- Fear of the unknown
- Comfort in familiarity
- Uncertainty of change
- Lack of vision
- Need to control
- Lack of faith
I am not too proud that I have claimed each of those in varying degrees in many seasons of my life. I am burdened (actually that is what drives me missionally) that so few of my spiritual brethren operate with a conversant understanding of the incredible heritage afforded us in act three and four. We are buying into a less wild, less glorious story than the one that was intended.
A young man has been talking to me about some life decisions he is facing. His father had a successful career that took him from home every week. His father was a good man, but was obviously absent and didn’t operate with much of a faith. This young man has chosen to break ranks with his father’s story, but the gravitational pull to that life is almost overwhelming.
Being a self-made man, building a nice career, and earning a lot of money is a deceptive path that once on, is nearly impossible to depart. This world is designed to captivate you with something far from God’s grandest intentions. The offer is life and freedom and yet we unwittingly step into cages and latch the door behind us. And the generations behind us, like this young man, buy into a lie that the Church (we) haven’t done a good enough job shouting over.
Tyler Durden, from the movie “Fight Club” says it this way…
“I see all this potential, and I see squandering…an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy (stuff) we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives… And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
Tyler is fundamentally talking about marketing, but he correctly identifies this as a spiritual war. And even when they try to break free of a culture that is offering a lie, we are not telling a compelling enough story for them to see it through the fog.
Does your life look and feel more like freedom (Act three) or slavery (Act two)?
What kind of story are you telling with your life?
Are those you love and lead choosing to break ranks and find a life worth living because of the story you are telling with your life?