Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lights, Camera, Quiet!

Imagine it with me...the lighting is all set, the actors are cued and the director yells, "Lights, Camera...Quiet". I know what you're thinking – that's not the expression, but it actually happened to me one time. My brother and I got to be movie extras on the set of one of the Erwin Brothers faith based films. Our names aren't credited; I didn't walk the red carpet and even though I know where I am in the shot, for everyone else it translates to "I'm standing right here behind this guy, I promise," but the experience is definitely something I'll never forget. And afterwards there was free pizza and bowling, so I'd say all in all, a new star was born that day.
Our scene that afternoon was filmed at the local bowling alley, where we and dozens of others basically made up the background. The craziest thing about shooting the scene was that we did everything in silence. The director would give his cue and we would sneak into action. I remember my brother and I doing the same thing over and over. One of us would step up to the lane, take our carefully crafted stance and pretend to release the ball we weren't actually holding in our hands. Our eyes followed the imaginary trail the ball blazed down the lane and we waited with baited breath to see where it would go or at least where we thought it would go. You know the best thing about imaginary bowling is that you can pretty much get a strike every time.
We gave quiet high-fives, gestured thumbs up and jumped up and down all without making an actual sound. We were bowling without bowling balls. We were celebrating without victories and we were giving the best performance we had without saying a word. The whole thing was nothing but pretend.
A little later we were selected with another girl to stand behind the main actors and pretend to be in conversation. Trust me, when you are trying to talk without talking most of it comes out in laughter but at least we were having a good time. I left that day thinking how funny it was to bowl like that or have a conversation like that and what that would look like in real life.
And suddenly I realized it looks a lot like going through the motions.
I watched an incredible movie recently about the cross and what it means to truly live it out. The question was posed, "If you were on trial for Christianity, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"(Do You Believe, 2015)
That question stirred me, just like thinking about my silent motions as an extra that day because they both point in the same direction—actions and how you live life. I wonder if the evidence of my life, my thoughts, my beliefs, my attitudes and my actions would stand in a courtroom or if they’ve been silently going through the motions? I know one thing; I need to evaluate the noise I listen too. I need to be careful of what voices speak in to me.
The reason we had to do the shoot in silence that day is because the directors and film makers weren't interested in what was going on in the background. They were focused on what was going on with the main characters. They couldn't have a lot of noise going on around them, but rather they had to draw in and hear what their actors were saying. They were pointing the camera at the most important people in the room.
I think some of us need to turn off the noise of the world and draw in to the most important voice in our life. I think we need to quiet the things that have been stuck in our hearts and in our heads and in our thought patterns and listen to that still, small voice that keeps on gently nudging. The one that says I am the way, the truth, and the life. I have plans for you to have hope and a future. I am calling you to great and unsearchable things. I am calling you to step out on faith but I'm right beside you. I will provide. I will forgive. I will show you. I will love you. You are more than a conqueror. You can do all things through My strength. Run to My everlasting arms. You will soar like Eagles. You will run and not grow weary. You will inherit the earth. You are mine.
What voices are you listening to? What is your life’s evidence? Who is in front of the camera and who is merely background? “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
-Only Hope
Readers, I apologize for the blog delays and inconsistencies over the last couple of weeks. We should hopefully be back on track. Thank you for your patience and dedication and for still checking in on the site. I appreciate you and love hearing from you. Don't hesitate to leave any comments, questions or thoughts on here or text and email as some of you do! Thanks again. God Bless.

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