Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own.
What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. (John 14:24)
Relate: In sixth grade I played the lead role in our school’s smash hit, Fat Fat Jehosophat. I’m serious. Hey, stop laughing. The play was amazing and we played to an awed and enthusiastic audience who were wowed by our talent. Especially the talent of it’s leading star. This was the beginning of an incredible acting career. The stage had been waiting for someone with my genius and ability to come along. At least that is what I thought.
The problem is, my dad managed to capture the entire thing on video camera. Apparently he cared as little for copyright laws as I do. Afterwards I had to opportunity to watch the entire thing off my VCR at home. I had the chance to be able to see just how great I really was. I was mortified. I don’t remember doing so at the time, but apparently I improvised my lines… a lot. So did more than a couple of the other actors on that stage. And the improv wasn’t all that good. Not in the least.
You see, we all had our lines down pat. We knew them inside and out. In rehearsal. Once the rubber hit the road, when the lights were on us and the crowds had packed that auditorium, maybe we didn’t have them as cold as we thought. There is a lot to be said for over-preparation. There is a lot that isn’t said right when we aren’t as prepared as we thought.
React: Unlike my abortive acting career, Jesus never fumbled His lines. He never needed to go into improv mode. Everything that was said came straight from the script penned by the author of the universe. He nailed them with perfect delivery every single time. There are people who wonder what Jesus was doing in the thirty years before He began His public ministry. I don’t think there’s any real mystery there. He was digging into the script. He was getting Himself ready for that moment when He would take center stage as the universe was hung, literally, on His every word.
I remember that it took a lot of time to get ready for that brief hour of performance. Clearly, I did not take enough time. The hours I spent learning those lines, the practices I had working with others and our poor director… it took a lot of work. That’s the way life usually goes. It takes a lot more time to prepare a sermon than to preach it. It takes a lot more time to ready a presentation than to present it. Effectiveness takes preparation. Maybe the reason we aren’t getting the spotlight in life we feel we deserve is because God knows we aren’t ready yet. Instead of complaining why not just buckle down and prepare?
God, help me to prepare. Help me to study. Help me to dig in. When nobody is looking, give me discipline enough to ready myself for those moments when everybody is watching. I long for every word I speak to be only that which You have scripted. I want everything that flows out of me be only You. Help me to live my life for Your glory… especially those moments of my life when nobody is yet watching.