“Everybody has a story and there is something to be learned from every experience…use your life as a class.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
In my people pleasing head I can hear the collective gasps of the people who are shocked (some, even appalled) that I would choose to start my journey as a blogger with a quote from Oprah. Quite honestly, I am bit shocked myself. However, I must admit Oprah’s Master Class has quickly become my favorite show on television. Why? Because people fascinate me. Not just the ones that look like me, think like me, and believe like me…all people. If you have never watched the show let me give you a brief description. The premise is to simply use life as a class. To learn about the obstacles and opportunities others have faced on their pathway to success. These are transparent stories that speak to the good, the bad, and the ugly that we will all inevitably face on this journey called life. It is the ultimate showcase of the human experience. Of course everyone featured has risen to some form of celebrity status. Whether it is Condeleeza Rice, Diane Sawyer, Justin Timberlake, or Sydney Portier…it is a colorful collection of people sharing their talent, abilities, successes, victories, shortcomings, setbacks, weaknesses, tragedies, and failures. The show is best summarized by Jon Bon Jovi who states that “Each step along the way is just another life lesson.” Yes, people fascinate me and not just celebrities. Why? Because we all have a story to tell that is unique…every single one of our lives is a Master Class in progress. Every person has a story that might just help someone else on their journey. Little nuggets of knowledge to pass down that can educate and empower the next generation.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” ~ Genesis 1:27
Interestingly enough, Ms. Winfrey in all her media mogul genius is ultimately not the author or the originator of the Master Class concept. Not even close. No, this idea was born at the dawn of creation. As God began His creative mission the greatest story ever told began to unfold. In fact the colorful collection of people you can see showcased every Sunday night on the OWN Network remind me of another group of people…an underscored group of celebrities if you will. Some successful, some epic failures, all as equally human as the ones we see today. Just as susceptible to make bad choices in a moment of weakness and just as likely to rise above the circumstances of their lives in moments of strength and clarity. Of whom am I speaking? The Master Class: Ancient World Edition. This is not a Oprah production this is a God production. It is the greatest Master Class ever known. Shepherd’s become kings and slaves rise to power. Queen’s save their people and persecutors become saints. However, God’s Master Class is radically different from anything we see on television today. The Master Class that flows through the pages of the Bible is one that always points to one main ingredient…it is the key ingredient that takes a good story and turns it into a great story, an eternal story. God’s grace fully realized in Jesus Christ! Why do people fascinate me? Because we were all created in the image of God and I choose to look for God’s beauty in all that He has created. We were all created in the image of God and therefore we all have the opportunity to take our story from good one to a great one. That is never more evident than on the pages of the Bible.
“We are not meant to be perfect, we are meant to be whole.” ~ Jane Fonda
Ahhhh…good ole Jane. There is not much of Ms. Fonda’s platform that I personally agree with but I do love this quote. I think what draws me to it is that I actually find it to be both true and false. If we go all the way back to the beginning…Garden of Eden beginning…you will discover that her statement is actually false. We actually were meant to be perfect. We were meant to live in perfect communion with each other, all of Creation, and God Himself. However it only took Adam and Eve all of three chapters to royally mess that up. So from Genesis chapter 3 on her statement becomes true. When sin entered into the world we become separated from God. That very separation caused an emptiness…a longing in our soul for what is missing. Many will journey through this life never finding what their soul is longing for. So often times we try to fill that void with wealth, power, ambition, prestige, success, and material possessions. Ultimately none of those things will ever make us whole. The soul can never be satisfied with things of this world…we were created for far better things. If sin stole our wholeness by fracturing our relationship with God is Jane’s statement even possible? I am not sure even she realizes the enormity of her words but yes it is very possible. In fact the reason Jesus came to this earth was to make it possible. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them…” ~ 2 Corinthians 17-19 Wholeness for each person comes the very moment we fully surrender our lives to the One who created us and the One who died for us.
“We all have the ability to put forth the best of ourselves.” ~ Goldie Hawn
Why do people fascinate me? Because we are created in the image of God who has bestowed to us all gifts, talents, abilities, and resources. I find the wonders of God’s creative hand so evident in the genius and ingenuity of man. The way an artist can use his mind, hands, and paint to create a masterpiece leaves me in awe of what my God can do. The beautiful music and melodies that comes from the mouths of singers leaves me longing to hear the choir of angels in heaven. The way an athlete can push his body, or a mathematician can use his brain leaves me speechless at the attention to detail that God uses when He created each and every one of us uniquely. I am always interested to see how man chooses to use all that God has given to him. I agree with Goldie, we do have the ability to put forth the best of ourselves. I believe the best of ourselves always comes when we are walking in God’s ways and living in His will. Then and only then can we truly live out His purpose for our lives…to glorify Him in all that we say and do. This blog will be my opportunity to put forth the best of myself. It will be my Master Class if you will. A place to share my story and experiences as I continue on my journey home. This will not be a highlight reel but rather transparent behind the scenes. We have so much that we can we learn from each other…that is the very reason I look forward to Sunday evenings. I recognize that while my beliefs do not align with most of the people featured on the show Master Class there is still a commonality in the human experience that allows us to see people differently when we hear about their journey. Are we not called to love one another? How can we if we never listen to each other. Why do people fascinate me? Because I love God and He loves people. People matter to Him so they matter to me. Not just the people I like or the ones who look like me, think like me, or believe like me…He loves us all and desires for all to know His Son. My prayer is that the love, hope, and peace that is found in Christ will be evidenced in the words shared in this blog.
In His Love,