My Soap Opera Life

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. – John 21:25

When I was in the theater department at the university, at least one teacher suggested that acting majors audition for “daytime dramas” (soap operas), since most of these programs had a multitude of characters and were always looking for more actors. These roles would also give a beginning actor much national exposure on a daily basis. A couple of my former classmates took the advice and landed roles in two of the “soaps,” so I decided to check them out.

Having never watched a “soap” before, I noticed one thing about the plot line of these shows that they had in common. One day something earth-shaking would occur or be revealed. Then, for the next week or two, all the various characters would spend whole episodes telling one another about it and reacting to the news. Sometimes there would be flashbacks of that dramatic plot twist, so one plot twist could stretch out for days, even weeks. One could stop watching for a while, come back, and usually know exactly what was going on.

To transition from the mundane to the sacred, the book of Acts relates so many acts of God that it would seem the apostles were living one miracle after another with hardly time to catch their breath. But we should keep in mind that since the period recorded in Acts spans a number of years, this may not have been the case. Between these miraculous events were probably times of fellowship when the believers were sharing great stories over a meal, planning their next outreach, writing the next message, traveling to the next destination, or working their regular jobs. I can picture the apostle Paul, a tentmaker, working with his hands, telling Aquilla and Priscilla stories of things that happened to him before he met them. He probably told the story of his conversion many times. (Even in the book of Acts that story appears three times, once when it happened – Chapter 9 – and twice when Paul was testifying – Chapters 22 and 26.) So, life for the believers was likely a series of wondrous works of God with a lot of ordinary days in between, days that were made extraordinary because of all the exciting things there were to talk about.

My life as a Christ-follower is like that, too. Although most of my days would appear pretty ordinary, I don’t think of my life as a believer as common or dull. (My favorite t-shirt says, “If being a Christian is boring, you’re doing it wrong.”) Maybe it’s because I majored in drama, but I do love the exciting and challenging times when God clearly manifests Himself. One day I will experience an answer to prayer that’s remarkable, surprising, or even ironic. Then I will spend the next week or two thanking God for it, journaling about it, telling individuals about it, sharing it with the church – and nowadays, blogging about it! I may be doing ordinary things on those days, but I have something exciting to think about and talk about while I’m doing them.

So, by the time I run out of people to tell or stories to write about that awesome thing God did – BOOM! He does something awesome again!

In my younger days I was in multiple ministries and seeing God do amazing things on pretty much a daily basis. I tried to record all the things I was witnessing in a journal, but it was overwhelming. I remember thinking, someday, if life ever slowed down, I could spend a long time just telling “God stories” from my past, and that would keep “old age” from being dull and boring. So far there are still “God moments” going on all the time, although with an empty nest and retirement I do have more time to write, and (more importantly) to pray. With a lifestyle that younger people might think of as “BO-RING!” I still get butterflies in my stomach occasionally. Sometimes I know why – I’m about to speak or sing to an audience or talk to someone about something without knowing how (s)he’s going to react. But other times it’s out of the blue. I’ll get an irrational urge to share my “exciting news” with someone – then realize I don’t yet know what that exciting news is! The only reason I can think of for such a random attack of joy and excitement is that somewhere in the world something I’ve prayed about is happening. And someday, when I get to heaven, I’m going to meet all kinds of people with stories of ways in which my “routine” prayers were miraculously answered.

Here’s a sample of one that I was allowed to find out about in this life:

Another example is in my daily prayers for the suffering Church. In praying for the Christians who are in prison, I am aware that they may be cold, hot, or hungry. For those who are shivering in the cold, I pray for them to be “wrapped in invisible blankets.” One day the devotional from the Open Doors ministry told the story of a Christian man in prison. His cellmate had no coat and was shivering in the cold. The Christian sensed God telling him to give his coat to the other man. He obeyed and was surprised to find he was still warm all night. This true story encouraged me to keep praying for miracles, even in the darkest places. After all, that’s what God does.

With this perspective, life can hardly be boring.

Prayer: Lord, You came to give us life, and to give it more abundantly. How could we ever think of life with You as dull? Make us aware of the miraculous ways You show Your love to us every day, and may we be faithful in praying and sharing the Good News, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

29 thoughts on “My Soap Opera Life

  1. Also Ann, When one’s life has been filled with God moving in so many ways, it can become commonplace unless we stop and ponder these things in our heart. I never tire of the stories old and new though. That’s Our God.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. And just when you think that there’s no doors going to open, . . . “KNOCK, KNOCK!” I wonder how many times we’ve said “Thank you Lord” for receiving what we weren’t expecting! I’m thinking a lot! Blessings Annie and Amen to your prayer.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I work in prison and it might surprise you that this particular prison is probably the place where I have felt the presence of GOD more intensely and more often than in many, many other places…
    To relate to your story with the coat, today, I saw that one of my clients had an entry in the prison system for bringing his own dinner to an inmate who was suicidal and he received a “positive” for it and the recording officer commented “thank you for helping to save a life”…
    I have seen GOD move mightily in prison and I feel blessed and honored every day that I am allowed to work there – a little help and love shown to someone in prison goes such a long way and it is very rewarding to be able to help the men there. Many people would think that this job is terrifying or dark or difficult, but for me, it is the best job I have ever had and I am excited to go there every day.
    Thank you for praying for the prisoners, your prayers are much needed!
    GOD bless you sis!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. No, it really doesn’t surprise me that much. People in prison, for the most part, have no illusions about themselves. They’re not hard to convince that they are sinners and can be more open to the gospel than someone who thinks (s)he’s not so bad, compared to other people. Salvation starts with a humble heart. Bless you, Eva, and keep shining for Jesus. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Ann, during and after a recent outing, three different people from our fellowship commented on the relationship between my wife and me; the implication was that it was something to emulate. I know since then, however, we’ve been a bit “short” with each other at times. The highs, when we clearly see the Lord at work, are wonderful, but it seems the biggest challenge for me is in the more mundane, day-to-day routines of life. Sigh!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It is good to ponder the big moments when we see and feel God move. It is indeed never dull. I always love hearing these stories, it fuels my faith and my prayers during those everyday mundane moments.
    Thank you Ann.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. AMEN! There is never such a thing as a routine moment or a dull life when we let God take the wheel, is there. Finding out that you were just steps down the beach in Sanibel was one of those moments for me. Continued blessings on your on-going journey of discovery and adventure, Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. At first glance, soaps can be over the top, but if you stop to think about it – things like that really do happen. Maybe not all of them at the same time to the same people, but still.

    I guess it’s good you didn’t become a big Hollywood celebrity from those soaps or else we would not read these fabulously inspiring posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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