At one point in the long, arduous campaign of delivering to Judah the bad news of coming judgment and futile calls for repentance, Jeremiah explodes with thoughts that have apparently been building in him for a while with regard to God's use of him:
O Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived;
you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
But if I say, "I will not mention him
or speak any more in his name,"
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot. (Jer. 20:7-9 NIV)
Jeremiah complains that not only has God written a play that casts him in a devastating role, but that he has also placed a fire in his heart that will not let him leave the play even if he wants to.
…Faced with the Message of the Arrows and a part too big that God the Cosmic Playwright insists is ours, with little clarity on the meaning and relationship of our scenes and character to the larger play, it appears more than sensible to opt out and go off-Broadway. Even though the smaller plays we write are often just pieces of stories, becoming our own directors and playwrights at least promises a level of control over the script. We hope we can eliminate most of the relational unknowns along with the villain and live in our smaller stories with some modicum of peace and quiet.
What is this drama God has dropped us into the middle of? What act of the play are we in and what do our scenes have to do with the larger story being told?