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Posts Tagged ‘God’

God spoke to me today. For real. Depending on your own personal beliefs, you may think this makes me crazy. But before you close this window and dismiss me as delusional, let me explain…

I was driving on the 401 in Toronto. This is a highway where God is spoken of often- usually betwixt much profanity and raising of fingers. I was sitting thereĀ  feeling quite bogged down with my career. You see, there are four things I love to do: Writing, Acting, Rapping and Speaking. I have been doing a lot of speaking lately and I have put all of my other passions on the back burner. And because speaking is what pays my bills, it is easy to justify that.

But… in the last couple of weeks I have been haunted by this terrible restlessness. I can’t focus. I’m indecisive. It’s awful. And today on the 401, I heard the voice of God. He simply said:

“There is very little that you actually love to do… so do it all.”

Pretty simple huh?

Now, you may be thinking: “If there is a God, and this God were to speak to you, why wouldn’t he tell you the name of the plant that can be used to cure AIDS? Or give you a strategy to create world peace? Or give you the winning numbers for next week’s lottery?” Good questions. And I don’t have the answers. But I do believe that God wants to speak to every person on the planet. There is a scripture in the Book of Job that says:

“For God does speak–now one way, now another–though we may not perceive it.”
– Job 33:14

Imagine that… God speaks. There’s no thunder. No lightning. No James Earl Jones voice. It is so subtle that we don’t even recognize it. God speaks and we don’t even notice.

I once heard a guy talk about this whole thing. He said, “God’s voice sounds like spontaneous thoughts that light upon the mind.” I thought that was neat.

Of course, I don’t think he only speaks in spontaneous thoughts. I think He speaks through emotions and dreams. Scriptures and convictions. Sunsets and images of Jesus that supernaturally appear on breakfast toast.

OK, maybe not the toast. But I do believe we can miss His voice. And I don’t want to miss it. So all day I have been turning this spontaneous thought over and over in my mind. And the more I think about it, the more I feel a peace about my career, the more I feel emboldened to fan all of my passions into flame. This little spontaneous thought accomplished quite a lot.

OK, I admit it. Maybe this was just me. After all, there’s no proof. No evidence. And I don’t have the name for some miracle plant growing in the Amazon. But I also don’t have that deep restlessness anymore. And for that, I am thankful. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go butter my Jesus toast.

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Be in the Moment

I met with a Pastor friend for Coffee recently. We had an awesome conversation. At one point he said:

“The most important person in the world is the one in front of you.”

And please note that I, Anthony McLean, was the person in front of him when he said that.

He went on to say, “When I am sitting here with you, I am not thinking about where else I have to be and what else I have to do. I am fully here. Go through life thinking about what’s next and you’ll miss the significance of the moment in front of you.”

That hit me. I told him that I live my whole life wondering what’s next. I feel like I am on the verge of a breakthrough in my career. But instead of focusing on each project and person in front of me, I tend to wonder “How can this help me get to that next place?”

He nodded like a Doctor who knew this symptom all too well. With a smile he said, “I think you need to stop and smell the roses. It’s not like there are more important people somewhere else. The people in your life right now are the most important people in the world. Enjoy them. And enjoy your projects too. If you see your current projects as merely rungs in the ladder of success… you won’t really put your heart into your work.”

I thought of every acting coach I ever had who said, “Be in the moment. You have to be in the moment or you will miss the magic.”

You know those times when what you are learning in your spiritual life intersects perfectly with what you are learning in your career?

Walking with God is the adventure of a lifetime. It is like having an invisible friend who sets up all these cool “aha” moments for you to discover.

Be in the moment. Aha.

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I’m a Christian. And being a Christian and being an Actor sometimes lands me in interesting dilemmas. Like the time I was approached to play the role of Adam in a stage play about the Garden of Eden. Where’s the dilemma in a Christian playing a biblical role, you ask? Well, I had to be naked on stage for 3 acts and then wear nothing but a fig leaf for the 4th!

So recently I entered into an interesting Christian/Actor dilemma:

To pray or not to pray, that is the question.

When I have an audition, should I pray to get the part? Sounds simple enough, but the philosophical, moral and theological implications of this little question are really quite profound.

Now up until very recently, I have prayed earnestly that God would grant me a certain role. When my wife and I were up for consideration for a film together (click here for the story) I was praying like a Pharisee! I was begging, pleading, asking for favor and claiming every biblical promise I could think of.

We didn’t get the part. And I will thank you for not bringing that up again.

But truth be told, there is something about praying to land a role that just doesn’t sit well with me. Why, you ask? The answer has to do with the film Bruce Almighty

Remember the two rules Morgan Freeman gave Jim Carrey as he became God in the film?

1. You can’t mess with free will.
2. I can’t remember the second one so read the first one again.

Does God mess with our free will? I don’t think he does.

This belief is fundamental to my faith structure. I don’t see God as a puppet master pulling all the strings. I do not believe that everything that happens is God’s will. Think about it- Jesus taught his followers to pray: “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.” If God’s will was being done on earth, we wouldn’t be praying! And note that God’s will for humanity involves acts of kindness, justice, love and compassion- all acts that require the free will of man to activate.

I believe free will is too sacred a power for the Sacred Power to meddle with. Love- the most noble purpose of religion- can only be born from free will. God has given us the ability to unleash evil on our neighbour- violence, hate, injustice and malice- all in hopes that we would choose love. He has given us the tool of free will knowing it can be used as a weapon.

With the sacred power of free will in mind, I ask one parting question:

Who decides who will star in the new JJ Abrams movie? The answer should be obvious… JJ Abrams. He has free will. It’s his decision. In light of that, I humbly say:

JJ- pick me!

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