The Bigger Story

Perhaps you’ve heard the old story about a U.S. Navy warship that was heading through the fog one night when a distant, faint light appeared directly in its heading. As the light got brighter, a voice came over the ship radio and said, “Attention. Calling the vessel traveling on a 220 heading. Adjust your course immediately.”

The captain got on the radio and responded, “This is the vessel on the 220 heading. You adjust your course.”

“Negative, Captain. You adjust,” came the reply.

“I am an admiral in the U.S. Navy and we are a U.S. Navy warship,” said the admiral. “You adjust.”

“No, sir, you had better adjust because I am an ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard and we are a lighthouse.”

It’s easy to continue on our way as if we’re the main character—until we come face-to-face with an unchanging, solid force like Christ. All this reminds me of Paul Miller’s encouragement in “A Praying Life” to live in our Father’s story in three ways:

1.      Don’t demand that the story go your way. Surrender completely.
2.      Look for the Storyteller. Look for His hand and then pray in light of what you are seeing.
3.      Stay in the story. Don’t shut down when it goes the wrong way.

In light of this, here are a few thoughts I hope are helpful to you. On point 1, I need to keep reminding myself that the central figure of the story is not me, but Jesus Christ. Points 2 and 3 make life more exciting! For even when I am going through trials and facing challenges, I can “treasure hunt” for what God is doing. And with my perspective lifted, I can have hope in Him and offer hope to others!

Though at times I feel somewhat important, I must remember whom I submit to: my faithful and awesome Creator. There is a much BIGGER story that God’s telling. The Gospel writer Luke reminds me of Christ’s purpose for stories: “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Though I’m nowhere close to being even a bit player, God does have a plan to use me. My part is to bless others and to pray more intelligently to help further His Kingdom. Even though I’m not the main character in this larger story, I might get to play a part in someone else’s small story if I follow God’s direction.

We all play a part in God’s story. What part has He called for you to play? Are you a willing participant or a reluctant outsider? How have you seen your role fit in the bigger picture?

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