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Curtain Call

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Proverbs 27:1 ESV

In writing his personal memoirs, Ulysses S Grant includes this opening statement, quoting a sage of long ago, “man proposes but God disposes.” He goes on to write a profound analysis of that saying, “There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.” Grant was acknowledging the fact that life brings with it a strong current, carrying us to shores unknown.

Life, if nothing else, is one long continuous grand adventure played out in real time. Our lives cannot be fast forwarded, neither can they be rewound. We all live on a stage that knows no intermission, with a curtain that can unexpectedly fall at any moment. And once our last line is delivered, we are denied a curtain call. Critics rush in to write their reviews, either elevating us to a place we never held, or casting us down to depths we never knew. Without the ability to refute either position we lie cold in the ground with our noses pushed up against the soft velvet of a casket lid. Soon the dust settles, grass and weeds cover our grave, and we are forgotten by all but a few. Alas, such is life on this spinning globe. What then is the point of it all? We did not choose to be born neither can we choose the day of our death. Most of life’s movements are dictated by the Grand Director and we are born along by an unfolding, relentless script. We literally do not know what the next scene we be or what part we will play in it.

Life’s meaning then must be deeper than we know and our position on the stage of life must be beyond our temporal analysis. Perhaps, the One who holds the script is weaving us into a plot we will only understand when we look back from the other side of our performance. Is it possible our greatest moment and our most memorial line has not been delivered yet? If we are still treading this earthly sod the performance continues.

The Apostle John was an old man living on the Island of Patmos when he received a most extraordinary revelation. Being caught up into the third heaven, he saw the end times play out in panoramic glory and majesty. Before his very eyes John witnessed the horror of the tribulation, the defeat of the evil beast, and the ultimate triumph of God’s Kingdom descending like a bride adorn for her husband. As no other man has, before or since, John was privy to the entire scope of God’s program and process in world events. And what was his response? He became overwhelmed by the events and fell down at the feet of the messenger. God blessed the aged apostle, and us, with the great encouragement of knowing He is in control of the script of history. What part we play in God’s eternal drama is His choice and the only review that really matters is the one written by the Grand Director. Now go deliver those lines with class and poise.


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