When I am asked, “What are my three favorite movies of all time?” I have one that usually does not appear on many people’s list: Dead Poet’s Society.
(If you have not seen the movie and you like anything to do with teaching and/or the man (aka the institution) has ever got you down, you will love this movie.
In this movie, there is a scene – I am not going to describe it to you, just watch it:
Here is Walt Whitman’s Poem Oh me! Oh life that ends this scene:
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish, Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d, Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me, Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined, The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
Answer. That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
As we live out our days during this powerful play called life, the question that always lingers:
What will your verse be?
As I think about that question in light of fighting the hydra of fear – specifically this week the head that I am calling “the fear of being worthless” – this question of what will your verse be is very fitting.
If life is a powerful play, God is the author and director. There is a freedom that comes from and through Him, but the Enemy brings his own script to the table. The Devil’s script is full of lies.
I found in my life that there are a lot of scripts around this fear of being worthless. They are usually short, to the point and very memorable.
Here are a few of mine, see if they sound at all familiar.
“You are never going to be enough”
“It doesn’t matter anyway”
“You don’t deserve that…. because you are not enough, so it doesn’t matter anyway”
These scripts are sometimes on repeat or shuffle depending on the day.
When things are not well or I am not actively staying connected to God via practices as I should, these scripts get used a lot. They are not helpful, they do not move me forward one bit.
But I have them memorized them and I say them well…
There enters another prompt of the Devil: Take pride in your worthlessness. This pride in being less feels right, but it is oh so wrong.
So, do your scripts sound similar? (I have talked to lots of people that have almost word for word negative scripts – do you think this is by accident, or do you think a similar source only has so many lines?) Do you see how those scripts lead us to places that are not good?
Facing this fear of being worthless is dealt with by losing ourselves in the one that calls you His daughter or son. Our identity is not based on what we do or do not do. It is based in the One we belong to.
I know that when I face a time where these scripts of lies are playing in a loop, nonstop and seem to be getting louder and louder, I have to step back, pray and say this:
God my life is in your hands. I am Yours. You have my becoming and my main role today is to stay connected to you.
You see Jesus says quite clearly: If we remain in Him, we will remain in us. If we remain in Him, we will bear much fruit – aka the stuff that God wants to be showing up in our lives. Our job is to stay connected and in close proximity to Jesus.
Take a few minutes and read John 15:1-8.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper. 2 He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. 3 You are already trimmed because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. 6 If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples.
Now ask these questions:
What if I let go scripts that come from the evil one and instead lived out this powerful play in the way that Jesus is laying out for me in John 15:1-8
How would I act differently?
What lines would I say instead of my old rehearsed lines?
What could I become? (As compared to where and how I am living now?)
We will continue to explore this on Sunday at First Fire during the sermon – you can watch it live here at 11:22 am.
Here is the reading plan that corresponds to this blog/sermon series:
Here are the links to the first two blogs in this series:
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strength and courage,
PS – if anyone is interested, I have been flirting with the idea of starting a podcast. I have a sample one uploaded on this site but it is password protected. The sound quality is very poor, but the content would be the type of thing I would like to explore in a podcast setting. If you are interested in listening and giving me some feedback then drop me an email, and I will send you the password.
￼  Common English Bible. (2011). (Jn 15:1–8). Nashville, TN: Common English Bible.