I know this revelation may significantly reduce my street cred, but it’s a risk I am willing to take. There was a time I used to enjoy (okay, I was addicted to) Soap Operas. I practically grew up on shows such as Lady of the Rose, No one But You, The Rich Also Cry, Wild Rose, Maria de Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Escrava Isaura (this show was old!) and The Bold and the Beautiful (by the way, has this show ended yet?) just to name
a few a lot. I think the last Soap I ever followed faithfully to the end was Sunset Beach, and then I moved on to other interests just as the insurgence of Spanish soaps was happening in Kenyan television.
Two things that are common in all Soap Operas are; i) You know how the story is going to end, and ii) you know how its going to end right from the start.
Yet, even with all the predictability, many of us still get hooked to the story. Soaps don’t have spoilers. Even when you know that Alejandro is going to end up marrying Soledad, you still sit glued to the screen; you’re still shocked by the break-up; you’re still angered by the betrayal; you still get disappointed when Soledad marries Alejandro’s brother.
Knowing the end of the story does not change how you experience these temporal twists and turns in the middle. You’re not apathetic to the “now” just because you have information on the “not yet”. You find yourself praying that Soledad will realize that Alejandro truly loves her and that he is not really in love with his current wife. Even though you know that there is only one possible conclusion to the story, you still want to control the moments. The detours still break your heart.
I would like to submit to you that there is a way the life of the Christian is much like the soap opera. Not in all ways, but there are significant parallels. As Christians, we have the privilege of knowing how the story ends. The director has let us in on the script. We may not know the specifics, because that’s where we are living, but we do know the essentials. We know that Jesus (hesus) wins, and so does his Bride. There is a happy ending. As a matter of fact, the Christian love story is the only story that ends with a happily ever after.
Cinderella and the Prince don’t live happily ever after. Yes, they end up married and they live together for the rest of their lives. But there is no guarantee that their marriage will be a happy one. Simply because they are living in a broken world. But for the Christian, we know that our happily ever after is truly and totally happy. We know that our Groom won’t lose us. If we are in Christ, we know how the story ends. But even with this knowledge of the “not yet” we are vividly aware that we are living in the “now”. The knowledge of our final destiny does not dehumanize us. We still weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh. We are not heartless. We don’t hurt less just because we know the end of pain is around the corner. We are not complacent about our holiness just because we have read the final chapter. We still fight, strive and pursue after righteousness. We still press on toward the mark of the high calling.
Even though we have the assurance that the devil can never pluck us from the hand of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we still fight him with all our might – with all of Christ’s strength. His love compels and propels us to fight. We are still broken by our sin and we repent of our failures, not because these things may change our final destiny, but simply because that is who we are, children of God striving to live out what we already are.
And that is how it ought to be.
Jesus calls us to live victoriously in the daily moments of our lives. He calls us to fight against the flesh, even as He reminds us that He has already defeated it on the Cross. Ours is a fixed fight. He calls us to flee from the serpent, even though He has already crushed His head on the Cross. Ours is a victorious flight. He calls us to die to ourselves, even though He declares us already dead in His death. Ours is a life-giving death. And yes, Jesus calls us to live in Him and for Him, even though we are alive through His resurrection, without any fear of death.
Are you pursuing holiness in your day to day walk as a Christian? Are you seeking to glorify God even in the mundane moments of your life? Don’t waste your life following fictitious fickle love stories on the silver screen; get up and live out a grander love story. This is the true love story. The story of Christ preparing and perfecting His Bride, even as the glorious Wedding Day approaches.