My wife and I recently finished watching Season One of Downton Abbey on Netflix.
It doesn’t seem like a show I’d enjoy (it’s like a Jane Austen novel apparently), but it sucks you right in with its depictions of the lives of lords and their ladies and the servant class in the early 1900s.
Every time I watch a show or read a book, I identify with certain characters. With Downton Abbey, I identified most with the father, Robert Crawley, and his servant, Mr. Bates.
We typically identify with the main characters and the heroes. It’s perfectly normal.
In the Story of Life, I see myself as the main character.
Other characters come in and out of the story with subplots, but they exist to give my character more meaning. The show is ultimately about me; I’m king.
Taken to its worst extreme, people are only a device to be used. They exist to serve me.
This makes sense because in the movie version of Life, which has been in production since the day I was born, the cameras have always followed me. When I leave a scene, that scene ends.
You might have thought this story was all about you, but I assure you, it’s all about me. I do care about you and your storyline, and our storylines may intersect and even become interwoven, but the grand narrative will always be about me.
Kinda like Jenna Maroney from 30 Rock.
But some of us have realized the Story of Life is actually the Story of God.
This story is about Him. He is the main character. He is the hero.
What is particularly amazing about this story is that even though the cameras are on Him, His eyes are on us. His ears are turned to us. And He is for us.
He is fully engaged in our tiny stories, and He desires our storylines to be so interwoven with His that they blur into one long, thick thread.
But I cannot forget He is the main character, not me. Not only am I not the main character, I’m not even second cousin to the main character. I’m not the witty neighbor who helps solve problems. I’m not the goofy friend with the popular catch phrase.
I’m just an extra. I might not even have any lines. Worse yet, there might only be half of me in the shot. Or maybe I’ll have to point out that those feet you just saw walk by… that was me.
That’s hard to come to grips with. I’ve lived most of my life thinking it’s all about me. I need help remembering it’s not.
It’s about Jesus Christ:
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
– Daniel, the prophet (7:13-14)