Friday, April 08, 2016

Thoughts for the Journey from Bill Myers

As an author and film producer, Bill Myers’s work has won over 70 national and international awards including the C.S. Lewis Honor Award. His books and videos, which include Eli and McGee and Me, have sold 8 million copies. His most recent book, The Jesus Experience - Journey Deeper into the Heart of God, explores how he went from a burned-out evangelical to someone head-over-heels in love with his Creator.


“Mr. Myers, as our director, on the first day of filming, you will be required to burn incense and sacrifice a pig to our local gods.”

I looked at my producer and blinked. “You’re kidding, right?”

She shook her head. “You Westerners, in your arrogance, trample all over our gods and beliefs. As a result, during the filming, someone is always hurt or killed. If you do not perform the ceremony the cast and crew you see before you will not work for you.”

The room grew silent. Tomorrow would be our first day of filming in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of dollars had already been spent in preproduction. If I did not comply, the movie would be over before it started.
Somehow, I nervously and gently explained that as a Christian I couldn’t perform the a sacrifice.
My producer smiled. “This I know. That is why your assistant director will do it for you, instead.”

Talk about being in a jam. If I said “yes,” I’d not only betray my faith, but I’d be dedicating the film to other “gods.” If I said “no,” my cast and crew would walk.
I stared down at the table, silently praying for any suggestions. Then, “out of the blue,” a thought came to mind. It wasn’t much, but it was all I had.

I looked up and said, “First of all, you need to know, I don’t doubt these gods you’re afraid of exist. But we have another name for them.” I swallowed hard. “We call them . . . demons. But you also believe Jesus Christ is a god, don’t you?”
“Oh, yes. Absolutely. One of the top 10. Yes, a great god.”
“And if push came to shove, He could probably take on those smaller gods you’re so worried about?”
“Oh, yes. He is a most powerful god.”
“Well, He and I are pretty good friends. What if, instead of offering a prayer to those little gods we know He could beat, what if I offered a prayer of protection to Jesus, instead?” I saw the crack of light and pushed on. “Better yet, why don’t we do it together, every day . . . you know, just to be safe?”
Ever so slowly, they began to nod.
The results? No one was killed. Not a single person injured. And, by the time we were done, at least two actors, along with their families, put their faith in Jesus Christ. It’s also the most powerful film I’ve directed. I recently spoke to a missionary from South America who said he’s still showing the film, and after 25 years, it’s still bearing fruit.

Why? Because I’m such a genius director? Hardly. Because I’m such a mighty man of God? Guess again. It was simply because I took God at His Word. God never plays defense. He only plays offense. As a sovereign God, if we trust Him, He’ll always flip things around for the good. Maybe not by our standards or by our time frames, but as Paul says, one way or another . . .

“All things work together for the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.” Romans 8:28


Robin Patchen said...

Wow, what a great story. God always shows us and gives us those "out of the blue" thoughts when we need him to. Thanks for sharing!

Ron Estrada said...

Great story, Bill. We never think we'll be in such a position, but most of us will find ourselves in an awkward situation eventually, where our faith will be tested. Hopefully, it's not on the set of film in a faraway land.

Thanks for sharing.

Linda Truesdell said...

A wonderful example of how our God always provides a way when we are in tune to the spirit living within us. Of course it is still producing fruit! God planted it and you and your staff were His willing instruments! Loved this.