Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Protagonist of the World

Right now I am reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan (AWESOME BOOK!!). In it, Chan describes the history of the world as a movie, and the main character is God. In this "movie" of life, we are only extras, not even supporting characters. Our significance to the main plot is extremely puny. One blink and you miss us. But we were put in this movie for a reason (the extras are necessary in movies, otherwise they wouldn't be paid to appear...). I really like this analogy. A lot. Here's why.

First of all, Chan talks about how dumb it would be if you were an extra in a movie and you invited all of your friends to "come see this movie about yourself." Your friends would maybe see the back of your head. Maybe they would miss you altogether. They would probably think you were an idiot for thinking that a movie you barely appeared in was about you. Don't you think that would be pretty arrogant? Uhhh, duh! Well, I hate to burst your bubble if you have been living in self-obsession, but that's kind of the way life works too. Believe it or not, life is NOT about you. Shocked? Don't be. It's just common sense. The history of the earth goes back billions of years. And trillions of people have lived on it over that period of time. Your life doesn't really mean much when you look at it like that.

The world doesn't revolve around you. Get it? 

But don't get depressed about your life just yet! Let me just remind you, that though you might be an extra in this movie, you are still necessary. You were chosen to walk past the camera for that half a second for a reason! Without extras in a movie, it would be a pretty terrible movie... more like a soap opera or something. You are there to set the scene, to call attention to the main character (that's God, remember?). But the thing about that is, you're not supposed to call attention to yourself. This is where I personally tend to mess up.

I was just thinking about this today. I seem to think that I am running my own little movie right now and not getting the big picture. Continuing this "movie of life" analogy, right now everyone is trying to have their own subplots, even though they are just extras, not focusing on the main point of life (...God). No wonder there is so much confusion and distractions! How can anybody figure out what the purpose and focus of life is if everybody thinks it is about themselves! We are doing a terrible job of fulfilling our role. Instead of pointing attention to God and just playing our part as God intended, we are in the background waving our hands shouting, "Look at me! Look at me!" All this does is create chaos and distractions, because no matter how hard we try, the world will NEVER revolve around us. Never. Ever.

The thing is, we all see ourselves as the protagonists of our own lives, and we think that everybody else should want to know all about us because we are so interesting and awesome. Yes, we are all unique, but who made that so? God. Yes, we all have different situations, different sufferings, different glory stories to share. But who gave them all to us? God. While it's okay to talk about these things (it's good to share and talk to people, I'm not saying that's bad at all!), we just need to keep that from being the FOCUS of our lives. Simply put, we could all use a dose of humility. (Check out the Litany of Humility on the bottom of the PRAY page here on my blog!) Seriously. Francis Chan really called me out on my own arrogance as I was reading his book, and I can't imagine that I'm the only one with this problem.

Putting Christ at the center of our lives means to stop putting ourselves in the spotlight and point all of the glory and honor towards God, the real protagonist and hero of the world. The King and Savior.

To put in perspective how worthy God is as the center of not only your life, but of every single living, breathing person, watch this video:

Do you know Him? If you do, adore Him for His crazy love. Step out of the spotlight, put God at the center, and give Him the glory He deserves. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ready to Fight

This past week I had the opportunity to spend 8 amazing days on retreat. Actually, no. The word "retreat" is the wrong word. Technically, yes, it was a religious retreat. But I don't think that it describes the true nature of this quality time with God. If I were to pick a word for this "retreat" I would call it a rally. A battle rally for the Lord. Sounds pretty intense, right? It was. And let me tell you, God was really working to get his troops ready for war.

Arming us with the Holy Spirit... YEAH! 

Let me describe to you my fellow warriors who gathered with me. 220(ish) college undergraduates from all over the country ranging in holiness from just baptized to living saint. Many among the throngs are characterized by their zeal for the Lord God Jesus Christ, evident in praise and worship, conversations, joy, and love. Coming from Texas, New Jersey, Minnesota, Florida, Arizona, and other various states, they all have a different standard of the "normal way to talk," but are united in their ultimate goal: to win the world for God. How will they accomplish this? By bringing the gospel to the country, one college campus at a time. They are willing to go out and live the gospel and to put Christ back in Christian.

So, right now you might be thinking... "gosh, all of these college students are wasting their youth! This is their time to have a little fun, not let religion make them into little goody two-shoes who won't be able to enjoy their college experience before they become real people in the world..." STOP. Don't think that. Nothing about this is a waste!! We are not being brainwashed nor are we doing this out of some sort of obligation. You might be wondering, what exactly makes a group of 220 college kids want to risk their comfort, social lives, pride, and reputation to fight for Christ? I have a couple good reasons.

First of all, well, I mean Jesus did like die to save us from our sins. But, you know, no big. People kind of forget about that one all of the time... (seriously... isn't that reason enough??) And secondly, the thing is, God let us in on a little bit of a secret. See, whether we acknowledge it or not, the whole world is actually in a giant war of good v. evil... God v. Satan... Us v. Sin. It's like aliens v. predators on steroids. And the scariest part is that people actually deny that it's happening! So, not only has God told us about this massive war, but He told us another secret: He wins. Period. Exclamation point. Pick a punctuation. Now you might be thinking, "hey now, hold the phone. So you're telling me you already know the end of the story?" Duh. Revelations. We all have access to it. Why does this always surprise people? I can't give you a play by play, but I get the main points: Jesus and Satan have an epic showdown, and guess who wins? We've been over this.

My money's on Jesus.

I know who wins this war. I want to be on the winning side. If God's love wasn't enough to set me on fire to live for Him (which it really is), then I'm still making the strategic decision and sticking with the side that will be victorious in the end.

Think I'm crazy? Well, all I have to say about that is I'd rather be crazy and fighting for a God who saves than going crazy trying to find happiness in a world without love. (God=Love... basic Christian equation). Because here's the thing: there's really nothing else worth fighting for.