IRS agent Harold Crick is the living definition of doing all things “decently and in order.” From counting the number of times he brushes each tooth, and counting the steps that it takes to get to the busstop, to calculating the amount of time that he spends on his coffee break, Harold’s life is completely structured.
What makes his life so complicated, however, is the fact that his every move is narrated by a voice in his head. Little did he know that the voice was that of an author who was writing a book in which he was the central character.
1. Everyone is a character in a story whose Author is God.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”–Ephesians 2:10
The Author/Character relationship ultimately points us to the fact that all of us are characters in the great story written by God. The greek word for “workmanship” literally means “poem.” In other words, God is writing the poem of our lives.
As you consider your life in light of the fact that God is the Author, how would that change the way you worship Him? Unlike the author in Stranger Than Fiction, God is not caught off guard by anything. He is in complete control of your story. And as such, He can be fully trusted. Rather than trying to re-write what God is writing, submit to His Authorship over your life.
2. Everyone’s story is either a comedy or a tragedy.
“Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?”–Romans 9:20-21
In Harold’s pursuit of finding out what his story holds for him in the future, he decides to pay a visit to a literature professor. The professor gives him an assignment to find out whether his story is a comedy or a tragedy. In literature, a comedy is a story in which the main character ends up happy, while a tragedy is a story in which the main character ends up dead.
In a sense, every person on earth is living either a comedy or a tragedy. Our lives will either end in eternal life with God or eternal seperation from Him. God, as the master Potter, makes some vessels for dishonor and others for honor. It is His choice as the Divine Author to determine what type of story each of us are in.
If God has made your story a comedy, then how can you do anything but fall before Him in complete humility and surrender. Just as a character’s destiny relies completely on the author, your destiny relies completely on the Divine Author of grace.
3. Every comedy is made possible by a substitute sacrifice.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”–John 15:13
When Harold Crick is first confronted with the knowledge that he is going to die, his first reaction is to fight against it. However, after finding out that his death would save the life of a child, he fully embraces the will of the author.
In the same way, in the garden, Christ asked the Author of His life if there would be any other way for His story to go. But He submitted to the Author’s will. And as a result, we have been saved.
Stranger Than Fiction is a great movie for discussion about the gospel. There are a few situations that are suited for a more mature audience. But in the end, it is a great opportunity for growing your appreciation for the Author of Your life.