This past weekend, my church showed a video, featuring my “acting” debut. Acting is in quotes because I’m definitely not an actor. I don’t even feel like I did any acting in this piece. Let me explain:
When I was called a few weeks ago and asked to do this, and explained the concept of the video, I knew it wasn’t a coincidence that the director’s first choice had a family emergency and couldn’t do it. I knew this was a perfect fit for me. But like I said—I’m not an actor at all. If I start telling a joke and realize how funny I think it is, I typically start laughing halfway through and completely ruin the delivery. If I’m happy I laugh; if I’m sad I cry. I’m not an actor. And I’m definitely not a boxer. I’ve never trained to be a boxer; if I ever stepped into a ring and there was actually a fighter opposing me, instead of acting with me, I wouldn’t last long. That’s why I also didn’t have to act out the parts where I’m running away from Tyler Hufnagle. They call him “Tuff” in the MMA world for a reason, and if he caught me, I’d likely go down in less than 57 seconds just like his most recent opponent. So I’m neither an actor nor a boxer, in any sense of either word.
No, I knew this was perfect for me, because I felt like I was getting to play a part in telling my own story. It’s the story of evil, crouching at the door, waiting to attack. It’s the story of every human, who, in our weakness, though we want to do good, sometimes seem to lose more often than not to the whims and lies of our sinful nature. The apostle Paul talks about this quite a bit in the New Testament. He says in Romans 7:
“I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me…What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”
It didn’t take any acting to call up the anger and frustration I feel when I fall victim to the evil of this world and my own sinful nature. It didn’t take any acting to learn how to strike a blow after getting knocked down and beaten up—it’s just taken a lifetime of falling and getting up and, after failing God over and over, relying on His grace and love to save me.
Paul says in Timothy, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” He also points out that “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
It’s good to know I’m not alone. Neither are you. It’s with that idea in mind that the incredibly talented Cody Baker wrote his original poem which he then read in the short film he also wrote and directed, Mutiny:
To see the video in the full context of the service in which it was used, watch this.