For you have been called for this purpose.
—1 Peter 2:21

Someone once remarked, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” I tried to comfort myself with those words years ago when I had a bit part in the legendary television program “Dallas.” Remember “Dallas,” which aired on television a number of years ago? Not the recent sequel, but the iconic original series that aired in the 1980s and ’90s. Well, the show used to come to Dallas every summer to film some of the episodes, and one summer they put out a casting call looking for extras. On a lark, I sent my picture to the casting agent. A few days later, he called me and said, “We want you to play a bit part in Dallas.” I was thrilled! It would be my big moment.

The casting agent gave me instructions of where to show up the next day. My part was to be a businessman seated at a table talking to another businessman in the background, while two of the main characters, Bobby Ewing and Cliff Barnes, were in the forefront carrying on a dialogue.

So the next morning, I excitedly put on my best suit and went to the filming location. When I walked on the set, I immediately learned the difference between a major star and a bit player. The stars had huge dressing rooms and luxury trailers, while those of us who were extras were told to go into the bathroom to change into our outfits. Well, that was okay. I wasn’t going to let that diminish my excitement that morning. Then we went into the restaurant where we were filming the scene, and the assistant director instructed my dining companion and me to be seated. He told me, “When the director says, ‘Action!’ you’re to talk to your fellow businessman here.” Now I was about to learn another difference between a major star and a bit player. The assistant director said, “When you start talking, don’t actually talk. We don’t want to hear anything you have to say. Just mouth the words so you don’t interfere with the filming.” I said, “That’s fine.”

Soon the director yelled, “Action!” About twenty seconds of dialogue went on between Bobby and Cliff, and then director yelled, “Cut! Print! Moving on.” The assistant director came up to me and said, “Thank you very much. We’ll mail you a check. You’re dismissed.” And that was it. I came on, did a little bit of action, and then I was told, “Your part is finished, and there’s a reward coming later on.”

After that day on the set, it occurred to me: that’s a great metaphor for life itself. The fact is, we are all playing a role in this great drama of life that began many years before and will continue many years after we die. We may each play a different role, but you and I have a unique, necessary, and positive purpose in the grand drama God has designed.

People today are searching everywhere to find some kind of positive purpose to their lives. But they need to look no further than the Word of God.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power of a Positive Purpose” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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