On a recent holiday in Ontario, Canada, we attended a wonderful performance of the classic musical, My Fair Lady, at the Stratford Festival Theatre. Although I was familiar with the music, I had never heard the dialogue or seen a production. At the part where Eliza Doolittle returns, and Henry Higgins asks her where his slippers are, a lot of people started clapping. It didn't seem to me that it was really over, but there were obviously a lot of people who had seen it before and knew that that was the end.
Then I remembered what I had read in the program:
- There is challenge but also strength in doing a well-known play or musical again and again. When you approach a work again, you discover new things: you reinterpret. You don't tire of the texts, because they're so rich. You see them in new way. Actors and audiences want to revisit a well-known work too. It's always a different theatrical experience, because your life's journey affects how you see the play.
Then it struck me: that's why we can go to church, and hear a sermon about the same old familiar text, or read the same Bible passage in our daily devotions, and it can still strike us in a new way. Our life's journey affects how we see the text.
At about the same time, I came across these words:
- I have not arrived, and neither has anyone else. We are all in the process of becoming. For much of my life I felt that I would never be OK until I arrived, but I have learned that is not the truth. (Joyce Meyer, How to Succeed at Being Yourself)
The Apostle Paul said, "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV)
Even the Apostle Paul hadn't "arrived". That's why the "old, old story" always seems fresh and new: our life's journey reveals exciting new facets of it that we never saw before.
Prayer: Lord, never let us become bored with the story of Your love, but turn the "diamond" to reveal new facets that shine with Your glory. Amen.