The week before Christmas I had an opportunity to see an advance screening of the movie "Blue Like Jazz." Based on the best-selling Donald Miller book of the same name, I was curious to see how they would translate the themes of the written word to screen.
"Blue Like Jazz," (both the book and the movie) reflects on issues of life and faith that seem unresolved. Our life, like jazz, appears as a tune played without a defined melody, music improvised by those participating in its creation.
The author had a difficult time working with the producer and screenwriter of the film. So difficult in fact that he wrote a book about THAT (his other book being made into a movie) entitled "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years." His trouble came as the screenwriters were adapting his life "story" to shorten it and make it into a better film version.
"So I guess I should have lived a more interesting life." Donald Miller in A Million Miles
The Christmas season with all the trimmings and trappings will still be visible in the malls across America for perhaps another week. As believers, I know we hope and pray, "the Christmas spirit" lives each day of the year ahead of us. The Spirit of THE gift, God's Only Son, treasured for all that His birth represents and redeems.
"For those who claim His Name, Christmas heralds this luminous truth: The God of Jesus Christ is our absolute future." Brennan Manning from Lion and Lamb
I want to live a more interesting life in the coming year. But I know the reality is most days are uneventful, and like the music form called jazz - are unresolved; no big revelations or conclusions before I close my eyes and call it a day.
My life of faith is recorded but not scripted. I know each breath and hair on my head is numbered, but assigned as co-creator, I have the freedom to improvise on a melody throughout the day and participate in salvation's song. My inspiration isn't an unresolved musical phrase but the finality of the Author and perfecter of my faith's last words from the cross,
"It is finished."
"Relax,everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together: open your hearts, love is on the way!" Jude 2 The Message
I can say with 98% certainty my life will not be made into a movie, nor will I write a book about the experience of turning my life into a film version. However, I can say with 100% certainty my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life and I intend to spend each day I have left telling other's how to make sure their name is written there too!
It's the end of another year and contributors are making decisions on amounts for "year-end" giving. Every day, I receive an appeal for "critical funds" and I confess I feel like every day I'm making that same appeal in one form or another. I toss aside all the big organizations mass marketed mailings, but somehow take comfort that all non-profits are in "critical" financial condition.
Together we are writing a song that has the heavens rejoicing! As the ministry shares the gospel around the world and sinners repent, a party bigger than New Year's Eve in Times Square erupts. It IS like jazz, each of us playing our own part, together in harmony, goers, givers, and prayers.
That makes for an interesting life, and a beautiful melody.
Help us end on a high note
With a song and a smile
In His service
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