We’re neither puppets on the world’s stage
nor writers of our own drama.
by Tami Rudkin
“You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this” (Acts 3:15, NIV).
When did Jesus, the Author of life, first think of me?
Where does any author initially begin to write his story, filled with adventure, fascinating characters, and scenes meant to communicate life’s most gripping truths?
The story begins in the mind’s eye. There the author first becomes acquainted with his main character. There he develops the sketch of a personality, the strengths and weaknesses all humanity possesses. There he dreams of episodes to be lived out that will bring interest and energy to the one the tale is written about. In the author’s mind, the first and last chapters are written. Then with great anticipation and yearning, those events are realized on paper as the author devotes all his waking hours to the project, the passion, before him.
The process is rarely simple and never as flowing as first visualized. The author begins with general thoughts, hopes, and parameters for the story line. But as paper and pen, or computer, are pulled out for that spellbinding beginning, the characters are no longer nebulous, far-away phantoms but flesh and blood, with thoughts, emotions, and will.
Often writers speak of how the characters in their stories take on lives they never dreamed. The people are no longer ink and imagination but fully in control of the words and actions being chronicled. In some cases, the author actually feels the horrors of the subject’s nightmares, smells the strong aroma of freshly brewed coffee, hears the strained words spoken, and tastes the rich sweetness of chocolate. The author and his characters have become one. All that is good and bad may surface as the epic unfolds. All that is latent and forgotten may be brought forth as the characters are sketched on paper. All that is truth and beauty may be told, if the author has purpose and hopes and love enough to look to the end of the story.
Loss of control
Wouldn’t it be awful if we were a story being told, manipulated by an unseen force, being written one way and then another? Having our lives described as good and then evil, happy and then sad, hopeful and then hopeless? Never fully aware of our next scene, never knowing if the end will bring triumph or immense regret or never knowing if our lives truly mattered as the saga was played out?
Some of us feel that way, don’t we? As if we’re never fully in control, that someone else is scripting our thoughts, words, and even our actions. We imagine there must be some greater force who is playing with us, dangling us before various painted scenes in a puppet show. We feel as if someone else has penned us and we have no say.
While some believe they are puppets in the big scheme of things, many believe they are the authors writing all their own acts of drama, fulfilling all their own dreams, and securing the last chapter for victories, lost loves, and forever happiness. However, we are unsure. Nothing is for certain. So as one chapter comes to a close, we write the best lines we can and then hope with all our hearts for a pleasant outcome. We, too, are controlled by an author unseen: our own strong self-will.
Each one of us is a created being; we were no accident.
We have been the idea dreamed in the imaginings of the greatest mind ever.
We have been the body crafted with hands strong but gentle.
We have been molded with a heart that reflects the deepest, the widest, the warmest of all hearts.
We were thought out long before the pen was set to paper. We were given joys, hopes, dreams, accomplishments, and yes, even pain. But the One who knew us even as only a thought loved us, designed us, and eventually became a chapter all His own for us.
The Author and the mortal became one flesh.
Jesus, the Author of my life, feels my pain deeper than anyone does, experiences my hope as no one else can and narrates my future as no other force could. He pens my life, not to pour out all His anger and disappointment, but to give me strength, integrity, and honor. He is an author full of life, raised from the agony of abandonment and torture to give my existence meaning.
What’s wonderful is that there are certain promises this author can make as the beginning paragraphs take form: that He will always guide the created character, that He will allow only certain things to occur, that He shares in all the trials, and that the final chapter is full of victory dances and celebration.
Jesus, the Author of life — not necessarily all the details of my every waking hour, but the Author of meaning, of faith, and of my salvation.
I am ready. No more blank sheets of paper beckoning me to bring them animation. I’m handing over the pen, full of life-giving ink, to Jesus, the author of my life, penned with love.
About the Author
Tami Rudkin lives in Casper, WY. She has been published frequently in Discipleship Journal and has written 20 devotionals for Pathways to God (Warner Press). This article and the many others of Tami’s in our archive are taken from her book His Silhouette.