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.