Everyone loves the plot twist in a movie — but most plot twists don’t work because they don’t make sense, they break the rules, and we see it coming a mile away.
The script follows a familiar template, and even the twist feels familiar.
Thousands of screenplays sound like real life statistics. Abused children become drug addicts, molested girls become murderers, man mourning his wife spirals into alcoholism, married man destroys his family for a younger woman.
These horrible things should disturb us, but most of us see it coming a mile away. The twists are predictable.
It’s simply following the devil’s script. All the statistics, as skewed as they might be, point to a deafening reality of Pavlovian-like people conditioned to react poorly in poor circumstances. You’d think that a child with an alcoholic father would be less likely to drink alcohol, but statistics show otherwise. About three out of four prison inmates come from broken homes. Abused children are more likely to become abusive parents.
On and on, the script plays out. The human drama unfolds — no surprises.
The devil has practically written out your life. And God is trying to get you on this new chapter.
A good plot twist should re-interpret everything that has happened beforehand. Broken people encounter the furious love of God and that’s exactly what happens: grace completely upturns the past.
Yet this isn’t a grace that enables wasteful consumerism. God will continually forgive through His Son no matter how we fall, but neither will continual falling be grace fulfilled.
A billion years from now, not a single one of us will look at the times we got high or drunk and say, “That was sexy.” No one will have wished for one more fight, more overtime, another petty complaint, another toy. No one will want to have kept more for themselves.
We’re all heading to our deathbed and right now, we’re determining our last thoughts there.
Then off to eternity. For billions and billions of years. No do-overs, no second chances.
I’m praying we’ll be a people that throws out the devil’s script and takes hold of a new chapter. That we’ll be in partnership with and submission to God. I know we have tons of valid excuses — My life was hard, I’m living a good life, I’ll do it later — but at some point we need to forget what’s behind us, get up out of our chair, and quit wasting space.
Aren’t there enough of us playing video games in our mom’s basement well into our forties? Aren’t there enough cat ladies that smell like urine and kitty litter? Aren’t there enough retired couples that do nothing but consume food and medical resources? God created us to be creators of life. And we let common statistics turn us into common people — a familiar cliche.
Get on your Plot Twist. I’m praying that the story of your deathbed would be, I was acting a fool, I was angry at everyone, I was living for myself, I didn’t care about anything else — and suddenly God snapped me out of it and jackslapped me upside the head. I took hold of God’s call and that was that.
Sounds like Paul. Moses. David. Martha. Peter. On your road to Damascus, the way to hell, and God took hold of you.
You don’t need to wait for that. Seek Him. Pursue Him.
Think of your deathbed.
Think of eternity.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
– Philippians 3:12-16
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