Hi, Rob here. I was speaking at a youth camp this Easter and I was showing a few movie trailers. As I pondered the plotlines of Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Braveheart and The Matrix I realised afresh that God did not make us to live in small, trivial stories. We are made for the kingdom of God, which means battling the forces of darkness that seek to destroy it and coming alive to the God of Love who has rescued us through Jesus our King. Our lives are more like Lord of the Rings than we know.
Isn’t it interesting then, that when sin entered the world in Genesis 3, the instinct of Adam and Eve was to hide from God. Their world shrunk and their story became small. Before sin they were masters of a great land; rulers that reflected God’s goodness. Now they were scared, isolated and more interested in self-preservation than they were in reflecting God to the world.
Our world is in a very interesting place right now. It seems that the more connected we’ve become and the wealthier we’ve become, the more tempting it is to live a small, safe, trivial life. Ask yourself, what have you been worrying about in the last week or so? What have you been praying about? How have you been spending your spare time? Let’s face it ever since our forebears donned their first fig leaf we’ve been trying to make our lives comfortable, secure and manageable. At least that’s the temptation. Now I meet people hooked on gaming, social media, the latest trends, keeping their homes nice, eating well, earning well and on it goes. You can tell by the TV shows that we watch that this is our world. Masterchef anyone?
So what do we need to do? I propose that we need to wake up and come home. Like the prodigal son who realised that life in a piggery was not the life he was made for, we need to wake up to where our small stories are taking us. They lead us away from the Father’s open arms. In a small story you can gain a sense of mastery – echoing our original calling in the garden – but you can’t know the thrill of a radical dependence on God as you join forces with his kingdom in overcoming evil and leading many to freedom! Do you need to watch Lord of the Rings or Braveheart again? Do you need to join a short-term mission team? Do you need to romance your wife or engage with your children? Do you need to initiate talking to a neighbour or colleague about Jesus? Do you need to look into a vocation change?
We need to come out of hiding, strip off our fig leaves that are keeping us hidden and find our God-given calling again. We need to cry out to God for more of him, more of his life, more of his love. We need to pray boldly and bravely, asking Jesus to come for us and wake up our hearts so that we will willingly follow him into this war-torn world. We need to trust him again. We need to know that we have a vital role to play in the kingdom and so we must die to sin and come alive to God if we are to live the life we are meant to live. As Elrond says to Aragorn in Return of the King, “Put aside the Ranger. Become who were born to be.”
Only God can help us and Jesus has come for us. Let’s trust him, follow him and love him.