Larry Sheehy-021111Listen to Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy
I don't remember the name of the actress, but fortunately it isn't necessary to the story. Several years ago she was asked to step into the lead role of a three hour New York play, on opening night, having had the script one day, and with only one rehearsal! I suspect the vast majority of actresses and actors would want to think a long time about accepting such a challenge. But even though they allowed her to carry the script with her during the performance (they explained this for the audience), she reportedly only referred to it about three times!
As amazing as it seems, the more I thought about this, the more common the event seems. This isn't to say she shouldn't be applauded for her performance.
It was, no doubt, difficult to the extreme. But think about it. All her training as an actress had prepared her for this opportunity. And, after all, she did have a chance to rehearse, even if it was only once. She knew what would happen in the play ahead of time, as well as when it would happen.
In application, think about this: even though you and I, in a general sense at least, have an idea what's going to happen to us from day to day - eating, sleeping, working, playing, relating to others - we don't always know exactly what will happen, or when it is going to occur. It's understood we'll almost certainly experience both good and bad; but we can't always know how good or bad it's going to be. And many times, like the actress, we're caught by surprise when it does happen.
But surprise shouldn't keep us from doing our best, or from doing what's right. After all, we have life's script available to us. It's called "Scripture" and "the Bible."
Someone will likely object, "But that's about people who died a long time ago. It's certainly not about my life!" Well, it most assuredly is about your life. And mine. And everyone else who will ever live. There is absolutely no life situation that isn't anticipated, in general terms, in God's word. And, like the actress, we get to carry the "script" around with us "on stage"! We have countless opportunities to commit it to memory, and can refer to it any time we want. At least in our society, no one is going to tell us we can't check to see what our "lines" are.
Also, it's not like this is our play's "first run." This drama has been running since the Garden of Eden! So, we have a lot of great models in whose footsteps we can follow, including One who gave a flawless performance. (Hebrews 12:1; 4:15)
So, the next time you're "caught by surprise" by some event - be it "good" or "bad" - remember that, if you're a Christian, you've been in rehearsal for the opportunity since you became a member of God's holy cast.
And don't forget to look at the script every chance you get!