I was watching online a reading of a play. At one point the Director asks the actor (the play is about a play) how he interprets one of his lines in the context of the ending of the show. The actor responds, “I don’t read the whole play, I just go over my lines”. I laughed out loud because that is a major problem in our work and our lives. We only go over and focus on our own lines, not taking the time to look at the bigger picture or where the narrative is trying to go. We all know those people and we tag them as “only out for themselves”, “having their own agenda”, “unwilling to see the bigger picture if they have to make an effort”. Our own lines are important, but like the theater if a line is delivered, no mater how well, out of context it’s meaning can be lost, or worse yet, misconstrued.
I was reflecting coming out Easter weekend how the Disciples all of a sudden woke up to who Jesus really was after He had been taken from them. Before the crucifixion Jesus was telling them daily about who He was but they were so caught up in what they knew and what they should do that they kept missing it. It was like they were focusing on their own lines and oblivious of the bigger picture, the context and the narrative. Now, we can cut them a bit of slack as even today the Parables take some work to get to the foundational meanings, but the point is that Jesus wants us to both know our own lines but also be sure that we are fitting them into His story for the world.
Reference: John 12:16 (New Living Translation)