watching, reading, and writing stories

The Finale

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So because I don’t have cable, sometimes I don’t get to see the Finale of a show until weeks later than most people. But that’s alright with me as long as I get to see it eventually. Often with my favorite shows the finale is the best episode. Now not every show does a finale well and some shows don’t even get a finale, they just get canceled, which is horrible for people who really enjoy it. But in any case, this past week I saw the finale for one of my favorite shows: White Collar. And it was perfect! It focused on all of the elements of the show that I loved, the relationships, a cool con pulled off by Neal, and ultimately what I’ve waited to see for so long. If you haven’t seen this show, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I would definitely tell you to check it out. All seasons are up on Netflix right now.

Anyway, seeing the finale episode for White Collar made me think about all the other finales I’ve enjoyed and why I enjoyed them. As in many TV shows, there can be no real conclusion or ending during the normal running of the show. In sitcoms, characters may learn lessons during the course of the show, but they generally stay the same throughout the series, not experiencing real change. Otherwise the set up for the show might not work anymore. On the other hand, TV dramas often have a lot of changes going on but one thing that the audience is really rooting for, like a certain relationship to finally work out, or a problem to finally get solved, or a bad guy to finally get caught. Well the finale is supposed to finally give us those things it promises; the couple does get together, the world does get saved, the bad guy is dead or in jail. It’s the conclusion, the resolution, the ending. And it better be a satisfying one.

But what about in real life. What’s my finale? What happens when my life is over? Do all the things I strive for get resolved? Is my ending going to be satisfying? Well I was watching a movie with my family last night called Heaven Is For Real. It’s based on a book which is based on a father’s account of what his 4-year-old son went through and described to him. All of it stirs up a lot of questions about life, death and what comes after. I think we can all agree that a happy ending is preferable to a sad one. The finales that end with giving us everything we wanted for our favorite characters makes us feel satisfied. But the ones where we get surprised with a death, or many deaths, feel wrong. That’s not what we wanted. Maybe it seems more realistic, but it’s not what I want to see.

Anyway, all this reminds me of a verse from the Bible, written by a very wise man. It says, “He (God) has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

As a follower of Jesus, I believe what He said about my finale or my ending. I believe that whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And I also believe that this life is part of it. My eternity doesn’t start when I die, I’m already living. I get to know Jesus now and grow closer to Him each day here on earth. But I also know that even when the day comes and I leave this earth, my story isn’t over. I do get an eternity with my best friend and Savior and I get to be a part of His family of believers forever.

Another verse from the Bible that comforts me is 1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Having a happy ending is not something I have to worry about, I can know I have eternal life because I know Jesus. He is faithful, He is true, He is alive, and He keeps His promises. He has promised eternal life to those who believe in Him and I trust His promise.

So I don’t know what you think about finales, about life after death, about Jesus, but maybe you should spend some time thinking about it today. After all everyone’s finale is going to come sooner or later.

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Have you ever had trouble waiting? I know I have. I have to admit there’s been a few times where I skipped to the last page of a book I was reading just to get a glimpse of how everything would turn out. Or if a movie I really wanted to see was coming out soon, I’d watch the previews over and over trying to see if there was any new bit of the storyline given away in the 90 second commercial.

It’s hard to wait, to go through all the hard stuff, not knowing what will come of it. It’s even harder in real life when there’s no way to skip ahead and read a few pages of the last chapter. I wonder why it is that we want to know the future. Why is it so hard to wait? Even waiting for an author to finish their next book in a series is excruciatingly difficult. I know my sister can’t wait for the next Heroes of Olympus book to come out, and I’m looking forward to Jeff Shaara’s new book too.

And yet, there’s always a time of waiting. Even in my own life there are times when all I seem to be doing is waiting. I feel like there is something coming, something around the corner, but I don’t know what it is, and all I can do it wait and see what happens. Well… not exactly. Actually, I’ve realized that there is a danger in focusing too much on the outcome, the future, the ending. It kind of ruins a book to know how it ends before you get there. And I can’t tell you have many movies were ruined for me because some friend had to tell me about the plot before I saw the film. There is something good about not knowing, and instead enjoying the moments I’m living right now.

Waiting is a hard thing to do, and I haven’t mastered it yet, but knowing there’s someone in control does make it easier. Just like an author of a novel is connecting characters and forming situations all directed towards a final outcome, I know that God is directing my life. And even though I don’t know exactly what my future holds or how it will all work out, I know it will. And that is comforting. It’s kind of like when I was watching the new Star Trek movie this weekend. There was a scene where Captain Kirk was dying from radiation, and during the whole death scene and even afterwards, I had this calming thought running through my mind that the main character can’t die so everything would somehow turn out alright. And it did, the crew found a way to save him, and the story ended happily. Just like I know my life will end up alright, even if I can’t see the future.

Where does it end?

You can only see one piece of the path at a time

So what do you think?

Do you have trouble waiting for things or not knowing where you’re heading?

How do you get through it?

I’d love to hear from you, feel free to leave a comment.

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