Don’t Just Live! React!

We had an amazing opportunity today that we wanted to share with our readers. This is not our normal kind of blog except that it points to how God works in the work that we do.


We spent an hour or so with an older lady. We visited with her because her health has been failing. This precious woman had spent more than 60 years of her life in theater both on and off Broadway. She had known the privilege and pleasure of acting in many of the great playhouses in America too. Though most or our readers are not likely to recognize her name, we’ll keep her identity anonymous anyway. You can be sure, however, that she truly is a master of her craft.


At one point in our conversation, she paused reflectively. The room was quiet for a very long moment. Her gaze slowly shifted toward the wall and became a distant stare. Then she shared her secret with us.

“Acting is reacting.”

Loving words as I do, I instinctively knew that whatever she said next would be something central to her well-lived life. She explained that, while you follow a script onstage, real actors don’t just repeat dialogue. They let themselves be impacted by what takes place onstage. They actually react to each other.


“Of course!” I thought to myself. “That’s the essence of acting — and of storytelling too.” Almost anyone can memorize a script and repeat the words in sequence onstage. But only an artist can weave herself into the story. The stage comes to life because the actress or actor have joined in the story.

For hours, I’ve been considering the treasure this actress shared with us today. There are  more life lessons in her reflections than I could possibly have captured in that room and could ever hope to set free on this blog. But one thing stands out even now:

Each of us must become part of the story of our own lives. We cannot be content with sitting in the audience.

Circumstance and happenstance will occur. In fact, you can count on them nearly everyday.  Your story, however, is not told by the circumstance and happenstance, but by your reaction to them. What counts is what you do with the things that come your way.


God figures in to all this. If the world is a stage and your life is like a play, then God is the Producer, the Director, and the Scriptwriter too. But we, the people, are His cast of characters. We have been selected to bring life to the stage.

The Bible tells us to commit our plans to the Lord, and He will guide our footsteps (Prov 16:3). It’s of little value to have God offstage nearby if you’re unwilling to take the stage and be part of your life’s story when the curtain goes up today. To paraphrase our new friend:

“Life is about reacting.”


We can’t help the things that happen in the world around us. With God’s direction and guidance, however, we can learn to react to them well when they occur. It all starts with a passion for life and a love for God and the people He puts around us. From there, you  react with God’s direction, of course.

That’s life.  And life works because God works!

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