A HUMAN COMEDY
All the World's a stage
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms ...
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion
Sons teeth, sons eyes, sons taste, sons
(As You Like It, 2, vii)
If everyone's life is like a play,
as expressed by William Shakespeare, would you be in a comedy or a tragedy in
your own life drama? We all are familiar
with the tragic plays such as "Romeo and Juliet" where, despite the
final union of the two feuding families, the ending was still pathetic. Had the play not concluded in their deaths,
this would have been a comedy. Comedy is
not just associated with humor, but refers to any such a conventional ending
as: and they lived happily ever after." As the Bible indicates,
"Better is the end of a thing than its beginning" (Ecc 7:8), an overall evaluation of a person's worth can
only be determined when he has passed away.
Can we afford to have our life posthumously reviewed as not only a
failure, but indeed a terrible tragedy?
We must understand that a "comedy" in human life has nothing
to do with whether one once possessed physical beauty, material wealth, or
intelligence. The happy ending does stem
from whether or not he has found the source of life and salvation:
All things were made through Him,
and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light
of men. (Jn 1:3-4)
If one can lead a life honoring
God and loving humanity, his short life would conclude happily in eternal
blessed rest. Life is a stage. And we, as actors on this stage, must have a
full understanding of the plot and the role in which we are involved. Without first studying the provided script,
even the most experienced actors are unable to assume spontaneously the role
assigned to them. After studying and
memorizing a given script, the actor can then give his best performance. Unfortunately, we are "live" actors
who have only one chance to the "performance of our life." Where,
then, can we find the written plot for this one and only chance on the stage of
life? We as 'actors can find this in the
Living Bible, the script provided to us by God or the producer. The Holy Scripture instructs us in the wisdom
of salvation and is good for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in the
righteousness of God (2 Tim 3:15-17).
The approach to the gateway of salvation is in the "living
script" in which some of the representative lines are worthy of study:
Romans 15:4, John 14:6, Acts 2:38, and Titus 3:5, among others.
A willing actor and a well-written
script are not enough. It still requires
a director to help the actor transform accurately the printed script to
life. Although he does not appear on
stage himself, the director of an excellent play can be seen and felt in every
movement and action of all the performers.
People often blame the declining quality of a television program on the
replacement of a certain director. There
are also many people who choose to view certain movies because of their
directors and not because of their actors.
It is difficult to deny that a director is of vital importance to the
success of any performance.
Regarding our living performances,
Jesus said, "When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all
the truth" (Jn 16:13). To understand the intended spiritual depth of
this heavenly scripture (Is 29:11-12), one must pray for the Spirit of truth to
direct him on the stage of life. With
the guidance of the director, the Holy Spirit, one will thus be able to become
a successful actor and the play will achieve its excellence.
A human comedy will undoubtedly be
spoiled by the intrusion of death. The
Bible, however, states, "for if you live according to the flesh you will
die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will
live" (Rom 8:13-14). For this
reason, to ensure a happy ending to his drama, we must invite our director to
be with us all the time. Friends,
"did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" (Acts 19:2,
2:1-4, 10:44-49, 1 Cor 14:2, 4; Jude 20).
There are indeed many required
criteria for an actor to consider.
Provided with a script and a director, the fact still remains that the
quality of the performance depends heavily on his own acting. As soon as the Jews heard the gospel of the
kingdom proclaimed by Jesus' disciples, they asked, "Brethren, what shall
we do?" Peter answered, "Repent, and be baptized everyone
of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins- and you
shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:37-39). Peter has demonstrated the way to salvation:
Repent of the wicked ways of life and of. erroneous
beliefs; accept the Lord Jesus, and be baptized in His blood (Eph 1:7, 1 Jn 5:6-8). The
apostle Paul further confirmed this message of salvation when he said: "In
Jesus you who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and
have believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the
guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise
of His glory" (Eph 1:13-14).
If you have determined to make
your life a comedy, you must then start with your belief in the Lord, be reborn
from water baptism and the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:5), and
finally consummate through your sanctification and fidelity to the commandments
of God (2 Thes 2:13, Mat 7:21-23). By truly understanding the word of God and
acting in accordance to the direction of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to
fulfill the will of the Heavenly Father, who will confer upon you the
recognition and awards you deserve for your performance.
Life and death, day and night are
common phenomena observable in nature.
But no one can possibly escape death.
We must all face the final judgement (Heb. 9:27). We must ask ourselves: After death subdues
us, where is our eternal home? Will we
be awarded for our performance? Be aware
that the God of justice will judge every one according to his deeds (Rom
2:6-11). Will the ending of your own
life drama be "entering the kingdom
of God for enjoyment of
eternal life" or ,,eternal condemnation" and
"exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might?"
(2 Thes 1:9).
The choice, of course, is ours while we are still alive today.
For everything there is a season
and time for every matter under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die. (Ecc 3:1, 2)
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling
place in all generations. 2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever
thou hast formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting,
thou art God. 3Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4For a thousandyears
in thy sight are but as yesterday when it ispast, and
as a watch in the night. 5Thou carriest them away as
with aflood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they
are like grass which groweth Up.
6In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 7For we are consumed by thine
anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. 8Thou hast set our iniquities before thee,
our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. 9For all our days are passed
away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10The days of our years are threescore years
and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their
strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off,
and we fly away. 11Who knoweth the power of thine anger?
Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. 13Return, O Lord how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 14O Satisfy
us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15Make
us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years
wherein we have seen evil. 16Let thy work appear unto
thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon
us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our
hands establish thou it. (Psalm 90)