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Accountability in the Kingdom of God.
Once upon a time, around the age of nine or ten, I participated in a Children’s Theatre production of The Sound of Music. In addition to my role as the housekeeper, Frau Schmidt, I played a Nun alongside another girl a year or two older than I. A few days before we opened, she got her ears pierced. It looked like a homemade kind of job because instead of the studs that are commonly worn the first few weeks after piercings She had big gold hoops coming out of bright red, infected holes.
It’s a strange thing to remember, but it sparked a great deal of backstage drama and conflict, which has always made me very uncomfortable. So I remember thinking, even then, “It’s not a big deal that she got her ears pierced. But she’s playing a nun. She should have waited until after the show. How rude.”
It was a children’s community theater, so the drama settled and she appeared on stage as a nun in big hoop earrings. But in the professional world, and even in community and education programs I’ve participated in recently, her behavior would not be acceptable. There are generally clauses within the contract that prevent an actor from dramatically changing their appearance. Even something simple, like a trim, must be approved.
Professional actors accept these clauses and allow others to speak into this very small, personal choice because they recognize the responsibility they have to the character and the story they have agreed to play. They see the wisdom in the old adage, “No man is an island”. We are all accountable to one another.
Remember, even a one man show requires an audience. We cannot and do not operate on our own.
The world, like many actors, takes a different view.
“You do you.”
“I gotta be me.”
“To each his own.”
“Thou shall not judge.”
“Follow your heart.”
The world is all about doing what is best for the individual, but God’s upside down kingdom is about putting others first.
For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. Romans 14:7
Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Living for others means dying to yourself. It’s taking the time to be thoughtful, considering how your choices, even the personal ones, affect your family, neighbors, friends, and community.
Think for a moment about your daily routine. What choices do you make?
A recent example of this might be the #covid19 Stay at Home orders. Were you one who agreed to shelter at home for the safety of yourself and others? Or did you feel that, since you were not sick, the rule shouldn’t apply to you?
As an actor, this doesn’t mean that you never get your haircut or do anything for yourself. It also doesn’t mean living in isolation because of what might happen. It is living thoughtfully.
God didn’t leave us with a list of rules to follow. He left us the Spirit, a direct line to wisdom and power who wants to partner with us in our daily activities.
“Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. ...
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. (John 16:7 & 13)
What do you think about that?