Shakespeare wrote that life is like a stage. We make a brief appearance and then pass on. True. But in reality we are on several stages most days and many different ones in our lifetime. In October I will be changing roles in the drama of the life of our association and picking up more activity in several other of the dramas that I am a part of. Husband, father, brother, grandfather, church member, neighbor are some of my more important roles. As I move from one stage and one role to another, the constant is myself and the biblical worldview, about which I wrote last month. It informs how I interpret the activities on each stage, what my role is, how I should play my role, and how I seek to shape the action on that stage.
One of the sacrifices of being a Director of Missions is that one cannot play the church member role as often, as well, and as regularly as one would like to do. To visit in other churches has required for me to sacrifice many of the joys of participation, regularly, in the life of a congregation. My plan is to address this in the body of Spring Hill. It has a great preacher, a good fellowship, a progressive and caring congregation. From the elements of the biblical worldview I hope to help make our worship by helping with the music. I hope that I will be able to help others join into the fellowship of this church. I hope to be supporting of what it does week by week.
Even before retirement I will be attending its annual Homecoming Sunday, August 13. These are good events. Many persons raised in that church will recall special times and meetings with the Holy Spirit in that place.
Last month I outlined in this column the elements of a biblical worldview. It has and will inform me as I perform in my various roles on the several stages of my life. It will help me interpret each of the dramas in which I find myself. It will help me identify threats and opportunities. The commands of God will also inform me as to how I should perform my roles, how I ought to relate to the other actors, how I should react to the events unfolding before me, and give me guidance as to what outcomes I should seek in the scene unfolding before me.
It is clear from the teachings of Jesus that my life and your life ought to be one of serving God, His Kingdom, and one another. Rather than to dominate or exploit others, I am to seek their well-being. When we do this for one another in a relationship, this works very well. Jacques Ellul declares that Christians are to be salt, light and sheep. We preserve the dramas in which we have a role; we share truth, or light, with our fellow actors. And we faithfully follow Jesus. With his Holy Spirit present in our lives, guiding, informing, convicting, we consistently seek to do what is right and what is good.
Since December 1961, I have played the role of husband. Since November 1966 this role expanded to include the related role of Father. In retirement I plan to focus more energy on these roles. With aging come health issues. Jackie has always been a better server than me. Health issues make one more aware of the need to serve and to be served. We have struggled with allowing ourselves to be served. But we must. Please think about your roles and your stages and how God wants you to behave in each of them, as well as the connections between them.