My mother was very theatrical when she read bedtime stories to me. She would bring the words to life, as she recreated the sounds and actions of the animals, weather, and vehicles. But too soon, she would close the book and say, “The end, now go to sleep.” There was no recourse for a kid who wanted more stories.
Since then, I have learned that life is actually a series of endings. Friendships, ballgames, and even summer vacation ends. Yesterday ended like most days. Today will do the same. And tomorrow? Well, it’s going to end, too.
Recently, there was a new Avengers movie that everyone wanted to see. But one guy decided to be the spoiler, and he published the ending. People became angry with him and accused him of ruining their trip to the theater because now they knew how it would end. Conversely in baseball, fishing, and romance, the ending is always discovered by everyone at the exact same time.
Some people read the last chapter of a book first, just to see if the ending justifies their time spent reading it. While other books have multiple endings so readers can choose which ending satisfies them the most. But the books that leave you feeling most distraught are the ones that have no ending. They just leave you hanging and gasping for a solution to the issues raised in the story.
Shakespeare ended most of his comedies with a wedding and dancing. You left the theater happy. His tragedies often ended with many people lying all over the stage either dead or dying. Everyone was somber as they solemnly exited the theater.
In a recent interview with noted crime writer Jeanette Winterson, she was asked what options were possible for properly ending a story. She said, “There are three possible endings for a story: revenge, tragedy, or forgiveness.”
So, how are you ending the story of your life? Some people live with revenge as their main theme. It controls their decisions and colors their emotions. “Getting back” at someone drives their every ending. To them, a good ending would be to see their adversary removed.
Others live in the tumult of tragedy. They stagger from one fateful ending to another. They never rise above because they are constantly downed by circumstances. To them, their endings will always be overwhelming loss.
The best choice is to live in forgiveness. Make every ending one of forgiveness, and you will have a fulfilling life. "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 ESV
The Bible is a love story with a happy ending (John 3:16). The main character is Christ and the theme forgiveness. For those who know Christ as Savior, their life ends in hope, and begins with Eternal Life.
Choose that ending as your own.