In fiction writing, there is almost always an “inciting incident”, when the main character is called—or forced, depending on the situation—to step out of their comfort zone to change their life or work to help or save someone else.
The only reason why this is used in story is because it happens in real life. All the time! Once one has responded to the call, there is no going back—quite literally! Their life has changed forever, and there is no handy “undo” button hanging around, either.
This morning in my Bible time, I was reminded of the inciting incident when reading about Mary and her calling. For Mary, when the angel appeared to her to tell her what God had chosen her for, she had a choice to accept or deny God’s call on her life. She accepted, as I’m sure we all are thankful for, and that singular incident catapulted her into a completely new (and not necessarily very easy!) life. And it changed world history…forever.
King David’s inciting incident came when he went to play harp for King Saul (1 Sam. 16:19)—or, perhaps, when he was anointed. Probably the later more than the former, although I think it’s entirely possible that we could have more than one major call/life-change in our individual lifetimes!
The prophet Samuel, as a boy, was told to deliver a dangerous message to Eli (1 Sam. 3).
Ruth had to choose between her wishes and Naomi’s wellbeing; her old gods and the God of Israel.
Esther had to choose whether she would utilize her life circumstances, and possibly lose her life, or grow bitter by them and in doing so lose her own life.
Moses…Nehemiah…Isaiah…Hezekiah…Jael…Miriam…Jeremiah…the Apostle Paul…Stephen…all had times in their lives when the call of God came to them, some audibly, often circumstantially, and they had to decide what to do.
And as Mary of old said, “behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38), I’m praying that I, too might follow the Lord in whatever “inciting incident” He calls me to!
What have you been learning from the Word lately?