Life happens for a reason

I am a huge fan of the Jason Bourne movies. The latest installment in the Bourne saga, The Bourne Legacy, did not feature the Jason Bourne character but it was crafted along the same plot lines as the first three movies. Because I believe movies made from books are rarely ever as good as the books themselves, I have gone back and read a few of the books and have not been disappointed. The movies do not follow the plot line of the books that closely, but many of the same characters and situations are still there.

There is something about reading a great book or watching a thrilling movie that stirs up something inside of me. I find it easy to take on part of the mindset of the main characters and, in my imagination, try to think like they would think in a given situation. I know that sounds pretty cheesy, but when the Rocky movies came out a couple of decades ago I'm pretty sure I saw you shadow boxing as you left the theater.

So as I headed to my car after watching The Bourne Legacy, it was close to midnight and I was by myself in a nearly deserted parking lot. I had just witnessed a nonstop thrill ride of escapes, assassination attempts, and bad guys trying to get the good guys. I was suddenly transported to that world and as I left in my car I imagined that the headlights behind me belonged to those who wished to sidetrack my mission (which was simply to get home in one piece). Was there one man in the car or were there two? Had I seen a flash of metal that could be a gun? If the situation warranted it, could I lose them on the back roads? I didn't do any crazy driving and I stayed within the speed limit, but it struck me as funny how easy it was to make believe that I was in a situation inspired by something completely fictitious.

Oscar Wilde wrote that "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life," and perhaps he wrote that because we so often are not satisfied with where we are in our own lives. Creating an alternate world where we are the supreme ruler and authority is something most children do, but this exercise in fantasy is not lost on adults either. Perhaps it's as simple as imagining a job that fully supports your family or dreaming of a day when all of your relationships will coexist in one accord. We often dream and daydream of a life that we would prefer over the one that we have been given.

Before you fill out an application for the CIA's Clandestine Division or sell it all and move to Tahiti so you can surf Teahupoo, consider where you are right now and why you are there in the first place. King Solomon, who was considered one of the wisest men to ever step foot on this planet, spent a lot of time pondering the meaning of life around him. In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, he wrote:
"There is an occasion for everything, a time for every activity under the sun...God has made everything appropriate in its time." (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11)
The life you live here on earth is no accident. Life happens for a reason. Your current circumstances may stink and you may wonder why things can't be different, but none of this catches God by surprise. While many of the situations we find ourselves in are a direct result of either good or bad decisions that we make, there will be times when things happen that defy a human explanation. Again, God is not caught off guard by any of this.

There are numerous truths that we know about God: He is just, powerful, holy, righteous, provider. He will never leave or forsake those who are His own (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5) God is eternally good and if He is good then we can know that He has a refining purpose for each one of us regarding the situations that we find ourselves in. That may not bring much comfort to you now, especially if the tunnel that's supposed to show its light to you is full of twists and turns. But just as God is the author of all that is good, He alone is the one that can carry us through times that we think might just kill us. God has a purpose for every life that He puts on this earth, with the ultimate goal being that we know Him through Jesus Christ. Even then, we will face triumphs and tragedies that will strain us along the way.

Consider where you find yourself right now. Life may be great, never better. Thank God for that blessing and let that propel you to live a life that points to His glory. Maybe life for you feels like drudge work, with no joy or meaning attached to it. Instead of losing yourself in an alternate fantasy world that will probably never come true, call out to God. He is faithful and He alone can carry you through any season of life. Thank Him for His blessings and then anticipate with excitement what He's going to show you and how He's going to grow you through your current circumstances. That may seem like a bit of a stretch for you to do now, but it's a whole lot more realistic than imagining that you can save the world using only a pack of matches and a ballpoint pen.

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