How It Ends
Isn’t it true that we so often want to skip to the ending? We want to know how the book or movie will end before it’s over. This can also happens in life. We want to know how things will end. We want to know that our kids will be settled and happy. We want to know that all will be well. But, if we skip through the chapters of life, we would miss the story.
As this winter season is drawing upon us, it’s easy to feel rushed and stressed and maybe even wanting it to be over. We all need to learn how to slow down and enjoy the moment. It’s time to stop skipping chapters and live in the present. Life usually has a way of coming together, even with the ups and downs and disappointments along the journey. I would be unrealistic if I always believed in happy endings and happily ever after, but that’s how I am wired. I have learned, and continue to learn, that I need to fall into a posture of trust. I need to trust that God is my life-coach, guiding me down the path that is before me. It’s a much better footing than wishing the days away and knowing the forecast. I suppose life is more like the weatherman; both can’t accurately be predicted.
Since we were very young, we often had a sense of anticipation, of painstaking waiting around Christmas. How many of us peeked in our parent’s closet to see what was hidden away until that magical day? (Mom, in case you didn’t know, I did peek and felt guilty afterwards.) We just can’t wait-especially when we anticipate something “good”- like a present. Then fast-forward to teenage years, we’re so excited to be a teen. Then we want to be in our twenties and so on. Why are we always rushing to the next phase, the next chapter?
I have a daughter who is a senior in college. She’s starting to feel anxious about finding a job once she graduates. She is at the doorstep, ready to head off into a lifetime of experiences. I wonder why she and so many others don’t seem to reflect on the excitement of a new beginning? Yes there will be moments of stress and loans to pay, but if we just focus on those “negative” aspects of the future, we might miss the opportunity for new discoveries. I wish that all of us would try to be more present and enjoy the stage of life we’re in instead of wishing it away.
I want to share with you someone I know and follow on Facebook. Below is a link to her blog. She has stage 4 breast cancer. She is someone who may be the exception to the “rule” of wishing life away or wanting to know how it ends. She is not wishing her life away and she does want to know how it ends. Let me tell you about Keri. She has a tremendous spirit and faith. I have been following Keri long before her diagnosis with cancer two years ago. I admired her writing when she so eloquently wrote about being a teacher and standardized school testing. Although my kids were already or nearly all graduated from high school, she was an influential sounding board and I loved how she wrote. Now her story has a different genre. It is one none of us ever want to encounter. And yet, she is teaching me so much. Not about the education system, but about choosing faith over fear which leads to healing.
Keri is a fighter. But like all fighters, she has to train. Her training starts with faith, planted with scripture and watered with every possible medical treatment from traditional to Chinese medicine to spiritual healing. Her fight is diverse in scope but it is rooted in her unwavering faith in the master of our destiny. Yes, she wants to know that her story will be one of long life and healing. And we, her friends and family, are fighting alongside of her believing that will happen.
Like the early Christian church waited with expectation for the arrival of their king, we too wait with expectation of healing and restoration. That is what we should be anxious about. Anxious about being and having an influence on people. Keri’s life is an influence. She is not living in an isolated, insulated world of sadness, although the fight has those moments, she is a reflection, a light in a dark world that shines with such brightness and goodness. I want all to see her deliberate decision to believe and fight and win this battle with cancer.
I did not intend to go to this place as I was thinking of this post which started while I was on a walk back in October. I was listening to a song by He is We, and my mind began percolate on this thought of wanting to know how things end. Then a few nights ago while watching the Garth Brooks live concert, and listened to him sing The Dance, this song also ties perfectly into this theme. If we knew how it all would end, we might miss the dance, and isn’t the dance the best part?
I have a few links below; 2 songs, of course, and Keri’s blog. Take a listen to the songs and start being inspired as you read Keri’s blog. You will see how her life with cancer is being lived out. The story is not void of harsh struggles, but it is a lesson to us with uplifting moments of a beautiful life. Keri’s steadfast faith leads to hope and we come alongside her as an extension of that hope. Our lives are woven together in a shared fabric called life. There are many other’s battling with sickness of one sort or another. Let us lift all of them up to the heavenly’s as well.
Live in the moment with a spirit of gratitude.
The picture above was taken this past summer while in Assisi, Italy: Parco del Monte Subasio.
What a lovely sight to see as you’re walking along an ancient stone village!