Hand Me Downs
Sometimes it can be hard to maintain the proper perspective that the person represented by this “natural man” is only a costume for the role I have been assigned in the play of this earthly life. My physical features, talents, personality traits, temperament, and behavioral style are all a product of the genes I have inherited from parents, my upbringing, social environment, and my own choices at times. I realize that while I can decide how my “character” is developed through my viewpoint and from benefit of life experiences, much of the script to be followed has already been written for my short role in life on this tiny, insignificant planet.
I must recognize that I have not “earned” the advantages given due to circumstances into which I was born, nor punished a priori through challenges of life that have come with that birth heritage. Therefore, I cannot assert ownership of or credit for anything I have or am given, nor lament or regret what I may not “have” in this life. All that is within my sphere of influence or control is part of a stewardship, rather than ownership of this life. Likewise, all the gains and accomplishments of life are achieved only through proper stewardship of my own time and personhood.
Clothes are Meant to be Worn … and Worn Out
Even though the “clothing” (persona) I wear as a costume in this life may not be what I would presume to have chosen for myself, I have to accept that the Writer of this script knows the story to be told by my character and the costume specified is appropriate to that role. There have been times when I looked in the mirror and argued with the Playwright about the fit and style of the costume designed for me. I have seen others wearing costumes that I prefer over my own, thinking one of these might better suit who I believe I really am. But then again, the script of life is often only revealed one act or even one scene at a time, so by the end of the play, I must trust that there was some reason for this costume which was described for the character I now inhabit.
To fully immerse myself in the character I am given to play requires full engagement, passion and zeal for each and every line, scene, and act. Sometimes the role requires a little more wear and tear on my costume than I would like, so there is a temptation to back off a little in living life, just to preserve it a little longer. Then, I have to remind myself that this is not really my play, nor is it left to my preference about how my role should be performed. So if this costume wears out, there must be trust and confidence that another one will provided if and when needed to continue with any intended role.
At times I feel very personally attached to this temporary costume – as though this physical being is actually who I am. Having worn this human frame for some time, I’ve become familiar with the drape and fit, more comfortable as the fabric has softened with use and wear. Like an old favorite pair of jeans, this costume now seems a better match for “me” than when it was still new.
At other times, this outward “me” feels like a cheap suit that fits so poorly that I yearn and long for the “real me” – the spiritual body that God has prepared to last for eternity.
Still other times, it is very tempting to wish for a change in costume, along with a change in my role in life. But as a rather slow learner, learning the “lines” for my current role leaves so little time to try out for other roles in life’s play, even if the parts were still available.