My inner super-hero is inspired by Katniss Everdeen, the brave protagonist of the The Hunger Games trilogy. Recently, I was watching The Mockingjay: Part I. During one standout scene, Katniss’ leadership team discusses how to launch her Mockingjay propaganda in effort to gain momentum to overthrow the corrupt Capitol. An observation from her mentor, Haymitch, really stood out to me. After the group brainstorms some of Katniss’ greatest moments of heroism, Haymitch asks, “So, the question is, what do all of these have in common?"
Her friends concur that Katniss’ finest moments were hers – no one told her how to act or what to say. Essentially, Katniss’ behavior was “unscripted.”
Her mentor accurately noticed that Katniss shines in situations when she hasn’t been given lines to read and a choreographed role to play. Basically, when her authentic self emerges, we see Katniss at her peak.
Although a scripted role sounds good in theory, it is the exact opposite that brings out the best in this heroine. Katniss doesn’t come to life in predictability and safe outcomes – only when she is free to react and be in the moment does this character begin to thrive.
I wonder if this could be true for our lives and hearts as well? That we truly shine when we are free to react and be in the moment?
As much as I love a good script – to know my lines in advance, to have a P-L-A-N, to have some resemblance of control – maybe I’m at my best when I’m living my life “unscripted” too. <<Click to Tweet
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. James 4:13-16
These are harsh words to swallow as I find myself grasping for a glimpse of the future and wishing the Lord would use a spotlight (instead of a flashlight) to reveal my next steps.
We are not guaranteed tomorrow, but sometimes we approach life with our five-year plans expecting that everything will play out as we desire.
I’m reminded of the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans.”
My desire to live a more “unscripted” life doesn’t mean I throw all caution out the window and go about making careless or reckless decisions. I think it’s more about the heart-condition in how I go about planning. I have to ask myself, “Am I open in my approach to daily decisions – making plans but holding them loosely in my hands to leave room for the Lord to come in and do as He pleases?”
Don’t get me wrong, this way of thinking does not come naturally to me. It takes a daily (sometimes hourly) renewal of my mind to seek the Lord FIRST in my thoughts and actions.
This in-between season of waiting on God and trusting Him with God-sized dreams that I’m still trying to uncover has left me feeling like I’m walking around in broad daylight with a blindfold on.
As much as I wish the Lord would give me a detailed itinerary as to how my life will unfold, He has yet to do this.
But we walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Cor. 5:7
I find peace in knowing that God is big enough to handle my struggle of wanting to be in control of my life. It’s not a secret to Him. In fact, He is more than willing to sit with me as I wrestle with my questions, doubts, and fears.
Hope is found when I look to the One I seek to model my life after. <<Click to Tweet
If Jesus, the Son of God, humbled Himself and walked in obedience to the Father’s will (not giving in to cultural expectations), how much more should we as believers seek to do the same?
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19 NIV
Even in His youth, while still under the watchful care of Joseph and Mary (yet knowing His identity as God’s Son), Jesus responds to His earthly parent’s bewilderment as to why He “wandered off” from them.
And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Luke 2:49-50 NIV
I am grateful for that disclaimer in verse 50, “they did not understand,” because I often feel like I don’t understand the Lord’s ways and movement in my life either. But that’s the beauty and freedom in walking with Christ – we don’t have to understand. Only trust Him.
Will you trust Him today with the unscripted?