Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Intent of a Character

Lately, I've been going through a lot of stuff. It’s been chaotic, to say the least. I’ve been trying to help a friend with something that I, too, struggle with. I’ve been frustrated with my circumstances and mad at my life. This has led to melancholy feelings and more frustration – a vicious circle. But I’ve noticed – when I get down, when I’m struggling, I will be reminded of God's sovereignty.

It keeps happening – I hear it on Sunday, or I’ll read it in a book. A friend will mention it on their blog or in a conversation. I’ll be outside, brooding over my feelings or my situation, when I’ll look up at the sky and I’ll remember.

God created the entire world and planned everything out before time. He numbered every breath I would take before I was born; He fashioned every part of my being, gave me my personality, my feelings, for a special purpose that He designed specifically for me. He knew that I’d feel like this, and He has a reason for it.

He plotted my days with intention. I am a character in the greatest story – His story. I stumble in my role – but the stumbles are written into the script. I falter with my lines, but the Author knew I would. He wrote my slips and hesitations into the story for a purpose, a reason. All I can see is the word right in front of me, while He can see the entire script – not just my lines, but the whole story from start to finish.

He crafted my character with a goal in mind, a goal that He wrote for me to accomplish. I don’t know what that particular objective is; I don’t know His aim for my character. I don’t know how my character’s story ends. But I do have the Director’s notes – the Bible. And from reading His words to me, learning from His coaching and His example, I know that my general reason for life is to bring praise to the Author.

In a story, the intent of the character is to teach a lesson to the other characters or the reader. In doing so, the character fulfills the purpose of the author. In fulfilling the author’s purpose, the character brings glory to the author.

There are main characters – the ones everyone knows; there are supporting characters – the ones who support the main characters, but aren’t focused on; and then there are those characters that you only see a glimpse of before the camera moves on. But each of those characters, even the ones only seen for a few seconds, is important to the story. If one of them was missing, there would be a problem. You can’t film a movie without extras. You can’t write a book without having crowds of people to make a busy street.

All of the characters are known to the Author, who places them there for a reason. Each has a specific position to fill.

So if I’m a character in the Story, my end purpose as a character is to glorify my Author. As I progress through my script, taking each word as it comes, the Director will reveal His purpose for me, how my character functions in the story. Though I might not play a large role, my character is crucial to the story. I’m breathing for a reason.

You see, God only gives breath to those He wants to live, those whom He has a purpose for, those who are still in the story. If my part in the story was over, if my character’s purpose is filled or no longer needed, then why would the Author still give me breath? For He wouldn’t create a character with no purpose. So if I’m breathing, I have something yet to do, lines yet to be said. Because I can draw my next breath, I have a use in this world. I have an objective to fulfill. Part of my character’s story is to figure out what that objective is.

How can I do that? Well, I study the notes from the Director. He’ll show me what I need to do when the time comes.

There is a reason for everything, because God, the Author and Creator of all things, is a God who delights in details, in reasons, in order, and in truth. He is sovereign – He governs all things.

“For by Him all things were created, whether things in heaven or on earth, visible or invisible, whether thrones, or powers, or rulers, or authorities, all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” - Colossians 1:16-17