This Ain’t That Kind of Blog Post

thermometer-833085_640I wanted there to be a pill that would make everything better.

Instead, a line from a movie keeps running through my mind. In a modern takeoff on old James Bond, gentleman spy-type flicks, the main character and villain reference those old movies. At one point, the villain says that if they were in one of those films, this is when a certain thing would happen but “this ain’t that kind of movie.” Then, he does the unexpected.

So, when it turned out that a pill won’t solve my current problems, I felt a little like that line. In the commercials and on TV shows, even in some Christian movies, when the problems of the main character reach a crisis point, there is a “pill,” or prescriptive prayer or decision she can make and suddenly everything turns around. The problems resolve, Jesus is glorified, and the main character goes on with the life for which she was originally hoping.

This ain’t that kind of movie.

Or, maybe it is, but in any case, one thing God set right in my mind (once I stopped looking for a magic pill and consulted Him on the matter) is that I need to stop thinking of myself as the main character. That turns life up on end, doesn’t it?

We all like to think we’re stars on our own stage and the world does all it can to feed that illusion but the truth is we are the supporting cast, every last one of us. The lead, the star, who the story is about is Jesus. You’d think that would be a disappointment, finding out we don’t even get to lead in our own lives but I’m learning it is, in fact, a freeing truth.

The British actor, Michael Caine, reportedly once described how he determines to take a role in a movie. He said he reads the first page of the script and the last page of the script. If the character they want him to play is on both pages, he takes the role.

Jesus is on the first page of this life’s script and the last. He’s the lead, the star, the one around whom the story revolves.

The thing about the rest of us is that we weren’t there on that first page, were we? We enter the story at different points and if we follow Jesus, we’ll find ourselves on that final page but we lack the global perspective of the main character who appeared in the opening scene.

God crafts our lives, then, to move forward the plotline of the main character, to draw attention to Jesus or to reveal an aspect of Him that others may not see without our subplot. That is, those of us who love Him.

Others have chosen to disengage from the main story. They may see themselves as stars but ultimately they will be only cameo appearances on life’s main stage. Cameo actors are all about that one moment but they never make it to the end and really, the storyline would be the same with or without their contribution.

So, when I realized that no pill or prescriptive prayer or life-altering decision would turn the ship of my life in the direction of trouble-free waters. When God reminded me that I’m not the main character and so troubles may be written into my plotline for the entire span of my life so that others can see Jesus through my broken heart, my loved ones’ illness, my unanswered prayers. When I pointed at all the Christian movies/novels/television shows where there is a moment that leads to resolution but He shook His head and replied, “This ain’t that kind of movie.” When I reached that place, He was there.

He reminded me that He doesn’t just appear at the beginning and the end, He is there on every page. He is with me even when there is no pill. Even when problems won’t resolve or when they do, another appears to take its place. He is with me through every harrowing moment.

And all of this led to me seeing that’s why He allows me a day of rest each week. I’m not the star so I don’t have to appear in every scene. I don’t carry the plot on my shoulders. No one expects me to deliver the ultimate answer. All that falls on the shoulders of the lead.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. Every week for the next year, I’m dropping out for a day. One vacation day a week where I enjoy Him and all He’s created. Watch a movie. Read a book. Take a nap. Linger over lunch. Stare at the ocean. Whatever. The Bible calls this a Sabbath rest. Some call it Saturday. Others Sunday. I’m calling it my weekly vacation day to remind myself what it’s about. Even God’s people need a reminder that God’s plan is best and He’s planned for us to take a day of rest.

God reminded me that the closer movies get to the end, the more intense the action and drama, and so it is with the world. His people are here to draw attention to Jesus and so our lives, too, will become more intense but since we aren’t what the story’s about, He encourages us to drop out of sight once a week because the show will go on.

How can you do that, others will say. This is a seven-day a week life. Modern times are demanding. We need to work every minute if we want to accomplish, achieve, resolve, move ahead. You are needed full-time on center stage. Shouldn’t you be studying, writing, caretaking, ministering, catching up, cleaning, shopping, preparing, relating, list-making, or laboring in some fashion every day?

To which I will reply, as I set out for a walk in the woods, “This ain’t that kind of movie.”

**this post is not a recommendation in any way for the movie from which this line is quoted. this post isn’t a movie endorsement, it’s an endorsement for enjoying a day of rest according to God’s design.

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2 Comments

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  1. Amen, I have been thinking about the same thing. Including a day without social media. Thank you for this.

  2. About 6 months ago I started taking a Sabbath Rest every Sunday. It has been a blessed experience. Interestingly, I still sometimes find myself feeling guilty for being lazy, but it quickly passes. I don’t think I could have made it through this past year without it!