Don’t you love a happy ending? I feel robbed somehow after spending my time on a book or movie that doesn’t end well!
My family and I were recently utterly underwhelmed by the disappointing end to a movie (if only the Hollywood movie moguls had asked us first…). Such dissatisfaction made me wonder…will the story of my own life end well? Will yours?
The Story of You
Fortunately, we have much to do with the writing of our own life story. Each day pages are being added by the choices we make throughout our day, and all those choices will add up to – what? A beautiful tale of courage and sacrifice and a life well-lived, people well-loved, and a heart that pursued and obeyed God no matter what? What will the pages left behind say about us after we are gone?
Recently my Scripture reading for the day had me in two seemingly unrelated stories, one in the Old Testament and one in the New. The main characters were separated by centuries, by station, and by gender. One lived in infamy and one in relative obscurity.
But even in the least connected lives, common ground appears when the curtain is lowered. Both lives ended, and the stark contrast shocked me.
Consider Jehoram, king of Judah. We can read about his life in 2 Chronicles 21. He certainly had the potential to make a name for himself, to rule rightly and be a blessing to the people. However, at the end of his days, we find that “He passed away, to no one’s regret” (vs.20). Wow – to NO ONE’S regret. He had wives, children, and a kingdom full of subjects, and not one person regretted his death? What a sad commentary of selfish living.
Then in Acts chapter 9, we have the story of Tabitha, “who was always doing good and helping the poor”. She became sick and died, and all the widows of her community gathered together, crying, and showing Peter the robes and clothing Tabitha has made for them. One after another, the grieving women explained how her love had impacted their lives. Her loss was so unacceptable to them that Peter raised her from the dead!
A simple woman who devoted her life to Jesus and others and touched the lives of all around her. A king who devoted his life to himself and touched no one. When the great and final (well…not for Tabitha) “The End” was unexpectedly written across the last page of their lives, the tally of their daily choices added up to two very different results.
She allowed her schedule to be interrupted for the good of others. She lived fully the live God had granted her and didn’t wait for “the right time” to make an impact.
He made his life about himself. He had what we might think of as the perfect platform for effecting positive change and impacting lives, and he squandered his opportunity.
You and I might find ourselves somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, but the question still goes begging, “What kind of story are we writing?” Perhaps we have some pages we’d like to tear out. I know I do! Let’s ask God for His help to start now, with no excuses, fully embrace the life He’s given us, and live well. Let’s spend ourselves for His glory, and live for that “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
Now go live your masterpiece!