"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)
We often take our cues on how to live, hope, dream and dress from the best minds in Hollywood. Every so often a movie will grab my attention and wrap me up in new ideas of how my life could turn out or what type of personality I wish I had. If I am not careful I can spend my time longing for a fantasy world, instead of enjoying and stewarding the incredible opportunities God has given me in the real world.
Some ideas make great movies, but they would never work in real life. Most single men will never be independently wealthy because their father wrote a hit Christmas song (About a Boy). A woman will not find the man of her dreams sitting in a bar with a bunch of other singles looking for hook-ups (Hitch). No one will save the human race from certain disaster by getting on a space ship (Prometheus, all space movies).
Know what is real and what is fake. To make a living, you have to get out of bed every morning and go to work. To meet the love of your life, you have to be the kind of person they would want to marry–godly, full of integrity, responsible. The world can only be saved from disaster by one man, Jesus Christ.
A filmmaker is a storyteller who controls all the elements in his story. The story entertains you. Your life is a story too, but, unlike the filmmaker, most of the circumstances are out of your control. Worrying about things out of our control is fruitless, but if you focus on what you can manage and trust God to handle the rest you can live a life of joy.
Here are 5 things you can control:
How well you steward what you’ve been given
How hard you’re willing to work
The things to which you say “yes”
The things to which you say “no”
How well you rest
Movies can help us make sense of our lives, but at the end of the day, we don’t live in a movie. We can’t fast-forward through the difficult parts or rewind to the successes in life. We have to wake up every day, choose to trust the Lord, and walk in faith.