Your Word is a Lamp to my feet, and a Light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside the still waters,
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
Shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
For you are with me. Your rod and Your staff,
They comfort me. You prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies,
You anoint my head with oil,
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the House of
The Lord forever.
Happily ever after? A fairy tale ending? Not necessarily.
Many stories that we call fairy tales end with the familiar words,“and they lived happily ever after.” And generally, we like those stories. Why do we like them? Well, for one reason, most of us like happy endings. We enjoy seeing everything come out “the way it’s supposed to.” We like to watch movies and T.V. shows and hear stories that end happily.
On the other hand, some movies or dramas end in tragedy. Often many people don’t even want to watch that kind of movie. Or if they watch a movie and discover that it ends in tragedy, people will sometimes say, “I didn’t like that movie.” Or some may say, “That was an interesting story, but I didn’t like how it ended.” Often stories or movies with sad or tragic endings encourage some viewers to remark, “I wish I hadn’t watched that movie.” People sometimes find themselves frustrated, feeling angry, discouraged, or even a little depressed after watching certain movies or TV shows. Why is this true?
Well, for one thing, people often take stories they watch rather seriously. Everyone likes to hear a good story. And we give something of ourselves to the stories we watch or hear. We invest our time, attention, thoughts, emotions, even our heartfelt concern to some degree, into movies, T.V., and dramas. To enjoy a story requires an investment of ourselves, and it is a costly investment. It is often said in our world, “Time is money.” So we should look on our time as a very valuable commodity. Wasted time is wasted life! Therefore, your time, along with your attention, thoughts and emotions, and your concern all add up to an investment of significant worth.
Amazingly, as we invest in any of the fictional dramas that entertain us, we are intrigued by an interesting story, even though the story does not touch our lives directly.
It’s very helpful to realize and acknowledge that people like to be entertained. People really, really do enjoy their entertainment. In fact, people enjoy entertainment to the point that, too often, they worship it. Entertainment is a contemporary “god” in our culture, and its influence is huge.
People pay large amounts of money to be entertained. They will pay a lot of money buying T.V.’s, paying for cable, movies, concerts etc. And of course sports entertainment is a huge part of the problem as well. Many of the highest paid people in our culture are movie stars, TV and film producers, and professional athletes. And it’s not even their fault. Because people value and put so much money into entertainment, the entertainment industry is one of the richest industries in the world.
My encouragement to each of us is this: invest in the drama of your own life. To put it another way, put most of your time, heart, energy, money, emotions, and your attention – into making the drama – the story of your life - one with a good storyline. Live in such a way that the drama has a happy ending.
Well, just how do we do that? I‘m glad you asked. The key to investing wisely in the drama of your own life is to write the character of Jesus into your story. In other words, invite Jesus into your life. Only when you write Jesus into your story can it have a genuinely “happy ending” – that is, a really joyous and fulfilling outcome.
Once you have invited Christ into your heart to be Lord and Savior of your life, your story will always take a dramatic turn for the better. Always.
Of course, after you have written Christ into the script of your life, it’s important to keep Him there. Make it your goal to write Him into the script of each day of your life. How?
Well, one way is to become a “PRO.” What that means is, to spend time doing three things regularly:
P - Pray daily.
R - Read the Word of God every day (I recommend three chapters or more a day).
O - Obey what you read in the Word of God.
(The initials spell PRO.) Developing these spiritual disciplines as daily habits, will help you to walk with God and draw on supernatural strength, grace and wisdom each day. This is how you continue to consistently write Jesus into the script of your life.
Now, to be honest with you, as we grow in our walk with the Lord, we learn an important truth. We discover that we are not really writing the script at all. Perhaps we thought we were, but in reality, Jesus is the author. He has already written the script, - an absolutely wonderful story. And in time we learn that we did not write Him into our story at all. In His love and grace, He wrote us into His.
So, our job is simply to read, and listen to HIS script, to follow and learn from it. In other words, we are to read the Word of God, obey the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit. As we live our lives this way, we are investing wisely in the drama of our own lives.
Know this, that as you read and listen and follow the script, - the story Jesus has already written for you - a few things are certain: your story will be an exciting drama with a satisfying ending, and you will live HAPPILY EVER AFTER.