I’m No Movie Star

Today’s post is part of a blog series sponsored by Prodigal Magazine, which seeks to answer the question: What Does it Mean to Live a Good Story? I’m honored to take part and hope that you will visit some of the other talented and gifted bloggers participating, as well.

I suppose I wasn’t very different from most other teenagers I knew. I wasn’t concerned with being good, so much as fitting in, which showed itself in my willingness to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and have sex with my boyfriend. I never felt good about these choices, but they brought me happiness…or rather, acceptance.

Like any 16 year-old, I was consumed with myself. Teenagers are notoriously self-centered and I was no exception. My story was all about me. The story I lived to share, and longed to share, was my own. If my life was a movie (and what 16 year old doesn’t on some level believe their life actually is a movie), I was the star. It was my name I desired to see up in lights.

Forget Angelina, Charlize, Reese. I was the main character of my own film. It was a blockbuster, written by, directed by, and starring me.

I remember how the need for attention would swell up inside of me. I remember how I would position myself, negotiate situations so that I might fall into the limelight. I loved the feeling of walking into a room and people taking notice. Looking back, I’m ashamed to admit that I lived for that kind of adoration.

But, one month shy of my 17th birthday, I met the Man who would begin to tell me an entirely different story. His story had a dramatic change in plot, a different beginning, and all together new ending. Most importantly, this story had a new main character. This story was radical, life-giving, and transforming.

Suddenly, I felt the responsibility of telling His story, not my own. In God’s grace, He also allowed me to take a small part in His magnificent story. I could share my past, my present, my hopes and vision for the future in such a way that I really told Jesus’ story above all.

Isn’t this what was meant to be? Isn’t it that much more fulfilling to tell the story of Christ, before we fight to tell our own?

It was Francis Chan, in his ever-wise and practical way, who first placed the movie analogy before me. In Chan’s book, Crazy Love, he writes:

“From start to finish, this movie is obviously abut God. He is the main character. How is it possible that we live as though it is about us? Our scenes in the movie, our brief lives, fall somewhere between the time Jesus ascends into heaven [Acts] and when we will all worship God on His throne in heaven [Revelation].”

So there it is, a truth we may know, yet often forget–that this story isn’t about us, but rather it is about the Risen Messiah. He is the Star. I was not. You are not. Despite this being a counter-cultural message, I found it freeing.

The world wants to tell us that we are the only ones that matter. We are the heroes of our own stories. But nothing could be further from the truth. Living a good story means telling His…again and again and again. It means telling His story with our very lives–not as the main actor, but as those in a supporting role whose entire job is simply to help the True Star of the film shine.

As Chan also says, “The point of your life is to point to Him.” So, I ask you, do you have any good news to share? Do you know of a story so true, so rich, so simple, and so beyond comprehension that it offers the power to save and bring abundant life? If you know that story, speak up. If you’ve seen that movie star, shine the light on Him. Because His is a movie worth seeing. Because His is the only story worth sharing with everyone.

What story are you seeking to tell, His or your own? How have you allowed God to be the main star in the movie of life? How can we best tell others His story?

13 thoughts on “I’m No Movie Star”

  1. Oy. My story, if you will, is one filled with blood, anger, war, pain, blessing, confrontations, rebirth, death, fire, Power, Salvation, Love, and relentless Grace.

    While it may never be a blockbuster, it plays very well in private viewings. (It is a definite niche kinda film) It has received success online, as well, given that today’s society is more prone to interact electronically instead of face-to-face.

    While it has never received rave reviews, it is true enough to foster either love or hate for Jesus, depending on who watches it. (I’ll let you figure that one out…)

    And like all of us, my personal film has continuing chapters being added to it, like the James Bond franchise. The characters may change, but the central hero remains a constant. Oh, no…that hero ain’t me! I’m the ever-changing characters! The hero is Christ Jesus.

    But you already knew that.

  2. I first thought about this whole ‘tell a good story with your life’ idea in Mr. Miller’s book ‘A Million Miles’ (which I’m guessing could have inspired the series?). I appreciate the clarity here that our story is all about telling His story. Sometimes, I’m tempted to try to use His story to make my story cooler… like fighting some social injustice in the name of Jesus will afford me the opportunity to have a cool story about fighting social injustice. If I tell His story in whatever context–mundane or exciting, in whatever way–by word, deed, or type page, then my story will take care of itself in the way He sees fit.

    I answer theoretically because right now, I think my story is more about me. It’s not necessarily a selfish ‘about me’–it’s more of a forgetting about His sovereignty while I’m flitting about taking care of this or that.

    1. Brett,
      I think you touched on something that many of us are tempted to do–use Jesus to make our story seem more significant. Thing is, depending on how we position it, it is more significant. But if our heart motivation is to make ourselves look better and not Him, than we have failed.

      I just happen to love how God allows me to feel cool, and even look cool at times, when I’m doing His work. That is when I feel the most like me–the most like who I was designed to be.

      Thank you for your honesty and for sharing too!

  3. Well, I have to say that reading this post and the responses, gives me hope and inspires me to tell God’s story. He gave me life and saved me so that He could take the foolish things of the world (including me) to confound the wise. How cool is that? Oh, I forget that a lot but He has ways of bringing it back to me- it’s not about me, it’s about Him.

  4. When I first read about John the Baptist saying that it was time for him to decrease and Jesus to increase, I had trouble wrapping my head around it. You mean it’s not supposed to be all about me? But even though it goes against my selfish nature, there’s a peace that seems to come with that submission, an assurance that yes, this is the way it should be. It’s a daily battle, but one worth fighting.

  5. I want to live a life where I strive for Best Supporting Actor because if I achieve that then I’ve made the Lead Actor look great. :)

  6. Nicole,

    Totally unrelated and inappropriate, but when I see the title of your post, I think to Prince singing, “Baby I’m a Star” from the Purple Rain soundtrack. Sorry. I just had to share that. :)

    “Baby I’m a (star)
    Might not know it now
    Baby but I r, I’m a (star)
    I don’t want to stop, ’til I reach the top
    Sing it (We are all a star!)”

  7. I got the chance to travel and live outside the country during the filming of HIS movie but my role was still the same–extra. Your pointing to this as HIS movie is exactly it. He doesn’t need me to make HIS movie but He wants me in it.

  8. I also found Chan’s section on the movie analogy very convicting. Thanks for your honesty and bravery in this post.
    I teach high school students at a secular public school and I oftentimes want to give them a wake-up call that the universe does not revolve around them… alas! it’s part of the teenage experience before Jesus comes in.
    All I can do is be an open invitation for them and hope that the Man changes their lives like He did yours and mine.
    Thanks Nicole!

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