What an Ending!
A few months ago, I picked up a book that I enjoyed. It was by one of my favourite Authors – Jeffrey Archer. The name of the book? “Only Time will Tell”. It was the kind of book that gave me pleasure not just while I was reading it but also during those in between times when I was anticipating getting back to it. Know the kind I mean?
Well, I savoured it very slowly, because I didn’t want the book to end. But of course, one fine day I had only a few pages left and knew this was it. I remember that day very clearly. I’d spent a long productive day at my Volunteer job and came home exhausted. I clambered into bed (at 4 p.m.) with a few pieces of chocolate and my book. (Ah! The life!)
I felt a twinge of sadness then that I’d finish it. But also looked forward to the ending. I knew that Jeffrey Archer’s books usually finished well. Where would the hero be on that last page? What amazing circumstances would we leave him in? I had no doubt it would be a great conclusion.
Imagine my shock when I read that last page to discover not the kind of ending I had envisaged. A good ending? Not in my book. (Now, isn’t that a clever answer?) It was a pretty bad ending – the worst I could think of. Or so it seemed. Jeffrey Archer had decided to end with a twist to his tale – but usually his twists were happy ones. I hated to leave this very likable hero in such difficult and unhappy circumstances. It left me feeling very downhearted.
What an ending! I still shake my head sadly when I think of the story.
A few Saturdays ago, my husband and I decided to watch a movie. Harrison Ford, one of my favourite film stars, starred in it. As the film progressed, Shan and I agreed that it was rather a dark movie. No lightness. No humour. A bit oppressive. Nevertheless, we laboured through it.
Thankfully after awhile, the movie improved and I began to enjoy it. I hoped for a good ending. (Yes, I like happy endings – as you may have realised by now). There was some doubt at first whether the character played by Harrison Ford was the murderer. Thankfully, it soon became evident that he wasn’t. Relief flooded over me. I was just starting to relax about who the murderer might be when a very unwelcome surprise plopped into my lap. No. Harrison Ford wasn’t the guilty party. But… the murderer turned out to be…. his wife. His wife? What? That sweet woman? I could not believe it.
What an ending! I had nightmares afterwards.
I guess both stories which disappointed me are just like real life. Happy storybook endings rarely happen to any of us. Unpleasant events are part of our lives. Today is the last day of 2012. I wonder what kind of year you’ve had? Did you clap your hands with glee a good part of the past 12 months? Or did the year bring you too much heartache and many unpleasant moments? Would you like to re-live this year? Or are you glad it’s over? As you wish goodbye to 2012, do you find yourself exclaiming ‘What a year!’ or ‘What an ending!’?
When I look back on the past year, I find it has, (like most years), brought me a mixed bag of goodies. Plenty of good stuff but also some bad. Many high points but also times of concern. Many precious God moments but also moments I’d rather forget.
But you know what? Good or bad, I love endings. Want to know why? Because an ending always heralds a new beginning. And I love new beginnings. Beginnings always bring hope, don’t they?
Not that I am unaware of reality. After living many many years on the planet earth (yes, a little over 21 years!) I do know that life is very unpredictable. Nasty surprises lurk and spring out at you when least expected. And so – I know that 2013 too might bring some of those uncalled for nasties my way.
But then, I have also discovered that when God is my Guide – I can have hope for all my tomorrows, simply because of His Presence. Bad things do happen. Danger still may lurk around the corner. But I do know I can trust Him to work out His best purposes for me. And that makes all the difference.
So will you join me as we look forward to 2013? Will you to take a deep breath and smile? (Yes, I will too.) Will you put on your party hat of glad expectation? (Why not?) Will you pick up your new (imaginary) journal of 2013 – the pages that have yet to be written - with excitement and hope? C’mon you can do it)
I am deeply sorry if 2012 has been a difficult year for you. May God’s presence be with you as you step into the new year. I pray that in the new year, you will find God’s peace in your heart and a fresh spring in your step. I pray that the next 365 days in your life’s book will be good ones for you. That God would usher in beauty, truth and goodness, comfort, strength and freedom into your life. That your cup will run over.
Only Time will Tell what the year will be like. But I hope that on the 31st of December 2013, you might look back with a happy smile on your face and with deep joy in your heart, reflecting on a year well lived and can say ‘What an amazing ending! What an amazing year’!
“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” Minnie Louise Haskins