Sunday, February 15, 2009

Once Upon A Time...We All Lived Happily Ever After

“He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.’”
Revelation 21:6
Imagine you’ve been given an amazing book to read in a super comfy chair with no distractions. You open it up and read the credits. The introduction then informs you that this particular book is self-timed, but it doesn’t let you know how long you have to finish it. As soon as you open it, though, you only have a certain amount of time to read it before it self-destructs. The timer has begun the moment you opened the book. How exciting!

The beginning is so thrilling that you are sitting on the edge of your seat and your heart is racing: “Once upon a time…” Your mood changes by the time you get to the middle of the story, and the words begin to run together. You hate to admit it’s even a tad on the boring side. You keep reading, however, because you’ve got an unknown deadline. As you go on, your boredom turns to frustration, then to apathy. When will I get to the exciting part?

It seems to me that this is often the way many of us live our lives on this earth. We’re here, in the middle of our life stories, knowing our days our numbered, and we’re just waddling through or struggling on until we get to the “exciting part” or even the end itself. We know that our Lord is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, but we need fresh reminders that He is here with us every day in between, surely, to the very final chapter!

Our Alpha did not come at the beginning only to give us a promise at the end…He came to keep His promises in the middle as well. He says in John 10:10b, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” And He gives us that fullness each and every day through the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us and through us: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth…for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18.

Let’s make a great start to this new day in the middle chapter of our life stories. It’s sobering to think that we have no idea how close to the end of our book we actually are. First, though, let’s take a pop quiz over the chapters before this one: “Who have been the main characters in my story? How have I blessed them? How have they made a difference to me? When was the last time I shared the gospel with someone, or even my story?”

And can you recall the plot? “Where was I when I gave my life to Jesus, and what details led up to it? How have I grown as a Christian since then? What sin struggles have been overcome, and which ones am I carrying over?” And on and on…continue to ask yourself some true or false questions and spend this time deciding which facts you need to leave behind and which ones you need the Lord to use to make changes in you today.
Here’s the happy ending: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Revelation 21: 3-5
When we know the hope that exists at the end, it makes us want to live our now to the fullest. What stimulating characters, adventures and plots will our lives record this day? What struggles will the Lord allow to shape us and grow us up? Will we choose to be the conflict or the climax in others’ life-stories? Why should we waste a single moment we’ve been given? Let’s live on in the Spirit together, shall we? Until the “HAPPILY EVER AFTER!” So be it.

In the Key of HE,

13 friends shared a comment:

Fishlicity said...

I really like how you made this analogy! Considering I love to read books and will eventually write one, this is such a great picture of life and how we should view it.

Denise said...

I really enjoyed this, great post my friend, love you.

Dee Yoder said...

I find myself being happy that life is mundane at means there is no crisis to handle for the moment. LOL. What a way to think of our lives, though: A book with a beginning, middle, and end. I pray my life story is meaningful when all is said and done!

Runner Mom said...

THis was awesome, LauraLee! Thanks so much for your insight through Him! Much to ponder!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well I've just had the best time with God this morning. Your post reminds me of Alicia Chole's book "anonymous". I know that I've referenced it umpteen times, but here's the deal. Her book presents a life-lesson...a truth that says every season in our life is the main course...not the appetizer we had previous, not the dessert that awaits us around the bend...but now. Whatever God is serving up is main. Time to partake it for what it's worth and savor every bite. That's day to day living in the plenty, and that is how I desire to live.

How thankful I am for a God who continually reveals his witness to me in the day to day, ordinary ways because I am willing to vision beyond the temporal.

He's my very best friend, and today I honor him with my praise. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

A great Monday word for me.

peace in your week~elaine

Yvonne said...

I'm glad we know the ending to the story. I also think that when we look for God on each page of our lives, the plot becomes more interesting.

lori said...

geeeeeez louise....I say the same thing over and over....BUT I have to say it again...that was a FABULOUS analogy! I really related to that one! What an awesome way to look at...
Thinking I know what we'll be talking about tomorrow at the breakfast table...nah, make that dinner tonight!:)

well said, incredibly well said girl!

love ya!

Joanne Sher said...

Oh, do I EVER love this analogy! Wow.

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

"It’s sobering to think that we have no idea how close to the end of our book we actually are." This was brought home to me when a senior at our small Christian school was killed on his way to school one morning last week. He was one who lived his life fully. He hadn't known Jesus long, but had a huge impact on many because of his intensity. When I can get my thoughts collected I plan to write more about him on my blog. Your words are so true!

Dance Mom said...

Your blog is a never ending source of inspiration. I love ya!

Janet said...

I love this! Thank you for such an inspiring, happy, hopeful post.

Debra said...

As always, beautiful analogy, my sister, my friend. Loved spending this time with you and gleaning.

Hugs to you!

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

What a wonderful post. You gave me lots to ponder here, my goodness!

Love your blog, by the way. Where have you been?! Why didn't I find you earlier?!