|The horizon from here|
(For those who are not familiar with the movie, you missed half of your life. Kidding. It stars Jim Carrey and Ed Harris and a bunch of other actors acting as actors in the first reality TV show that shows actual reality but is a movie so of course it's not really real. You can also Google it.)
Admittedly, until now I wonder if there are no hidden cameras around me or up in the sky or if everything that's happening in my life are all part of a script and the only variable would be me. And I see this type of wonder in other movies and cartoons and scripts. MIB, Dexter's Laboratory, even Horton Hears a Who question the possibility of someone much bigger than us looking through his microscope or telescope or magnifying lens and watching as puny humans like us try and make sense of the world we're living in. It is a question that so many have ventured to answer, even going to lengths that defy gravity (I am referring, of course, to missions into outer space).
Well, here's proof.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:7-10)
Have you ever had that feeling that someone is watching you? Someone is.
Two Ways to Respond
"Oh, God, this is scary. Stop staring at me."
We can react in fear.
"Why does He have to watch us? We're not doing anything wrong. Stop policing us. Stop waiting for us to make a mistake. Can't You just leave me alone?"
It feels like we're trapped, like we can't do anything right. Like whenever we want to do anything, we have to overthink it: Will it please God? Is it the right thing? Am I allowed to do this? We mull over things other people, who don't know that God is watching, would do in a split second. We are in fear because we don't want to be caught.
There's a psychology to that. One of the reasons people are so afraid of the law is because they don't want to get caught. Once people find a loophole, doing wrong doesn't seem so wrong anymore. Well, I'm sorry, but we will always get caught by Someone (refer to quoted verse above). There's nowhere to hide. He knows where we are even when we are lost. And we do have good reason to fear. He is, after all, God.
But we can also respond in gratitude.
A girl asked her father to teach her to ride a bike. They spent their afternoons out in the dirt road in front of their house. Her father held on to the seat while she pedaled and tried to maintain her balance. Her father always adjusted the bike when it was about to fall over and they start again. Soon enough, she could pedal faster and faster without tilting, and at some point, she could feel her father's hand releasing his hold on the bike. But every time she felt this, she would tilt and tip over. Her father just helps her up. They try again. Faster and faster she pedaled until she didn't even notice that she was riding away on her own. She didn't fall over this time. She rode in circles and went back to where her father was standing. "You let go," she told him.
"You have to learn to ride by yourself, but I never lost sight of you."
Somehow, we feel like we are alone and that if anything bad happens, no one is going to be there to help us. Like we are in this world to figure things out ourselves, get ourselves hurt, then pick ourselves up. Like everything we're doing is just . . . what we're supposed to do because that's what we can do and it's all just for ourselves.
Well, thank God He's watching you.
You are not alone. Don't read that in a scary, horror-movie type of voice. Read it in a compassionate, caring, and loving voice. You are not alone.
You don't have to be afraid. Someone is looking after you. You don't have to think that your life is worth nothing, that nobody cares what happens to you. Someone already saved you from a far worse death than you could have imagined for yourself. You don't have to feel depressed and lost. You're not lost. He knows where you are and will lead you if you want to.
Knowing that Someone is always watching over us, why do we still want to make wrong choices? Shouldn't it be that we live in gratitude to the knowledge of security in this life? We don't think about it enough: Will it please God? Is it the right thing? Am I allowed to do this? We don't remember well enough that wherever we are, God is with us.
I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
Present tense. Adverb of time. Description of range.
In moments of uncertainty, we should not be afraid. God is with us. Always. Nothing happens in our lives that God doesn't know about. God is sovereign over all creation. Sometimes we don't understand what's going on, why we have to go through things that just hurt, but we can trust that we do not need to face it alone. We are not alone. God is with us.
This is the true man show. We are the cast. We play our roles. But we have a Director, and we have an Overseer. We have God to take charge of everything. We are not alone.