A Commitment to Mediocrity

Truman Capote, author of Breakfast at Tiffany's, once said "life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." I want to resist both statements with every fibre of my being.

If Capote's definition of life as a moderately good play prevails, our worldview will be formed by the idea that as long as we live life moderately well, that is enough. We only have one life! This is not a rehearsal. I don't want to get to the last day, amble into the terminus and reflect "well that was moderately good." What a waste that would be. I want to zoom into the terminus, stagger off the ride and say "that was an astonishing experience with God."  I don't want to slow down, I don't want to ever fall into the trap of thinking that I might get to a period of life when my service of Christ and my enjoyment of Christ slackens off. I never want to enshrine spiritual mediocrity as a value in my life.

The idea of the badly written third act bothers me. I have come across a number of Christians recently who are clearly in their third act. Some have told me that because they are retiring at work that they think it is a good time to rest from Christian service. Among others I have noticed a growing sense of resistance to gospel-motivated change in styles or strategies to take account of the need to witness to a new generation. And among others a sense of bitterness at not having the energy for outreach they once had.

Let all of us who have opportunities to encourage friends in the third act to resist the idea that their life is badly written. If they want to be any kind of writing, let it be a 2 Corinthians 3 kind:  letters from Christ written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. That's an ambition that doesn't fail in the third act, or the fourth or the fifth.