Imagine you get a backstage pass to a Broadway theater tour. During the tour you find yourself being hustled along in the midst of a crowd hurrying somewhere and you end up with a crowd on stage in a play you know nothing about. Imagine further that the crowd turns into a mob and fighting breaks out all around you. This is our experience, this is our reality in the world today. We are dropped into the middle of a play that is in full swing. Most people persist in trying to ignore the play and try to go peacefully about minding their business but nothing makes sense. Life just doesn't work. The suffering doesn't make sense. The fighting doesn't make sense. The relationships don't make sense. The activities range from bizarrely amusing to frustrating and infuriating. Your plans don't make sense and don't work. Logic and reason are no longer logical or reasonable. The rules of engagement and expectation and behavior don't seem to apply. In fact, even your identity is all wrong. You are not who you thought you are. Not only does your life not work, everyone around you is frustrated too because your agenda's and efforts make a mess of their life. It makes a mess of their life because they are in the same boat you are trying to mind their own business and get along and life isn't working for them either.
This metaphor has two threads:
One, there is Christ's story and being dropped in it, you are a part of it or messing it up.
Two, there is the world's story that is bizarre but one which everyone else wants to be in... and you, Christian or not, are messing it up.
Being dropped into Christ's story - the real story - and not realizing it, means you will never make it. You will never live in the Kingdom of God having the security and rest and freedom you should.
On the other hand, as a Christian, if you are living in Christ's story - the real story and so living correctly - you are dropped onto the world's stage and its story so you will never fit in. Your life as the world sees it will be anything from a quaint amusement to a radical departure from reality as they know it. Your life is disruptive and inconvenient and ridiculous though all the while somehow intimately drawing, attractive because the true story resides and is playing out in every heart. The greatest atheist or pantheist or animist or Hindu or Buddhist hears God's strange dialogue that has a familiar ring. God's story is not far from any of us. Our part in the story is not far from us. But we may, and most do, choose to embrace a different identity from ours in God and remain confused and frustrated and wondering what in the world is going on.