Last night I was watching Will Ferrell in perhaps his most serious performance in a film, Stranger Than Fiction. In case you haven’t seen the movie, Ferrell plays the dull Harold Crick, the kind of guy who counts the number of brushstrokes while he brushes his teeth and whose life is orchestrated in perfect synchronization with his closest friend — his wrist watch.
One day, life changes drastically for Harold Crick when he hears a voice during his tooth-brushing session. This is not just any voice; it is a woman describing his every move, like a narrator in a book. Of course everyone thinks Harold is schizophrenic, but in the end, he discovers that a famous writer is penning a novel about his life, and everything she included in her plot ends up happening in Harold’s life.
I can’t help but parallel this with the way God works in our lives. Yes, we do make decisions that determine the plots of our lives. When we make good decisions, God starts writing furiously, causing the right people and events to come into our lives at just the right time. And when we make bad decisions? Well, there are consequences, though I know evil cannot come from God. He sometimes allows His children to endure hardship for two reasons: So that we will learn from our mistakes, and so that we will be stronger in the long run.
God sees the end as clearly as He sees the beginning of our lives. And just like the author of a fictional book, He imagined us from scratch. He made our personalities, our bodies, our fingers and toes, the tiny flecks in our eyes, everything about us. He is fascinated by the characters He has created. And while we each have our own stories, our individual story is part of a great novel, intertwining all of humanity into God’s story, leading us to know Him, who is the center of it all.