For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. (Luke 8:17)
Shakespeare was right. We strut and fret our hour upon the stage. But who are we performing for? Our friends and family? Neighbors? The public? Do we perform for ourselves alone?
We have but an hour. Rather, it is more like a minute, a second… a millisecond in the scope of time, on this stage of space/time in the very small act we call human history. According to Shakespeare, our lives are “an idiot’s tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
That may be so if there is no God and no life beyond this brief, strutting hour. It would all be meaningless, an idiot’s tale indeed, if this universe is not the work of a Creator and we are not His image bearers.
Whether anyone else is paying any attention, we strut on this stage before God. I am keenly aware of that, yet I don’t act always as if God is sitting in the room with me, standing over me, ever present, a watchful observer. Of course, I want him watching over me when I’m in trouble and things aren’t going well, but what about the times when I am being tempted to sin. What about the times I have done things I am ashamed to admit even to myself?
I might even be conscious of the sin as I do it, and yet I do it anyway. Although God is watching, I act as if I am alone, unseen by any watchful eye.
Nothing is hidden that will not be manifest. Nothing done in secret will not be made known and come to light.
God, who stands outside of space/time, says the entirety of my life. If I were sat in front of a movie of my life, what would that movie of my life be like? Will I be proud? Or ashamed? Will my good deeds outweigh the bad?
We are tempted to think like that, but all that will matter is the sin on that day when I face my Creator. He already knows the sin too well. I am the one who has tried to hide the sin, tuck it the dark corners and sweep it under any available rug.
The truth is that no weight of good deeds will outbalance the bad because, as good as some deeds may have been, the corruption permeates them all.
We don’t need to think down this road very far. Everyone has sinned and fallen short. None of us are righteous, not a single one of us. It’s safe, but unnerving, to say that we will not be proud of the movie of our lives. For all the things we’ve done for which we might be proud, the sinful, shameful acts will dominate that movie screen. There will be no place to hide our shame.
Thankfully we have a savior. We have an advocate. We have a sacrificial lamb who shed his blood for us. None of us could survive the revelation of our hidden lives, the desires and thoughts of our hearts, the thousands of petty slights and times we refused to help a soul in need.
God, please cleanse me from my sin and multiply Your good work in me. Please water the fruit of Your Spirit in me and grow it to nourish others. Please increase in me so I and the sin that resides in me will decrease. Overcome the darkness in me with Your light. Usher in Your kingdom in me and sow seeds for eternity that will grow in me.
 Macbeth Act V, Scene 5
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,