The sky is overcast and there’s a distinct chill in the air this morning. Bluegrass is playing on the computer with the washer and dryer providing the background beat. Isn’t it funny how some sounds just say ‘home’. When I was a child, that sound was Mama’s electric mixer. We were a mashed potato family. More often than not mashed potatoes were the side dish to just about everything. Whether outside playing or in my room reading, I knew when the mixer started, it was just about dinnertime. It’s a shame that so many people today associate that sound with the ding of a microwave.
I’ve been re-reading the book “Deadline” by Randy Alcorn. It’s a novel that is part who-done-it and part theology. I didn’t think those two writing styles could be combined, but if you ever find yourself looking for a good read – check it out. It’s a page-turner. My ADD brain starts with the concepts of the novel and somewhere down the line took a hard right, leaving me to dwell on the following concept.
Just suppose you are sitting at a table and someone places a notebook & pen in front of you, instructing you to write your life story. The notebook is filled with clean white pages. Each page is a day of your life. The story must be written with complete honesty, (leaving nothing out), and it must be written in ink, (no erasing or scratching out any segment or deed). What kind of story would it be?
Our parents start the story for us. In love, they begin our novel as a fairy tale. We are the little ‘princes’ and ‘princesses’ that will conquer the dragons and defeat the evil witches. But soon we leave the nursery room only to discover a great big world filled with temptation, pain, and disappointments. We learn that we are weak and fallible. We also discover that we have the ability to endure beyond what we think is possible.
What kind of book would you write if you were being completely honest? For most the tone of their book will change from chapter to chapter. Adventure, drama, comedy … the chapters will ebb and flow as we look back to see the different circumstances of our lives. Have you noticed a thread running through the story line yet? Have you, as the main character, remained consistent? Or has there been a life changing event to redirect your course?
When the pages are all filled, the novel complete, and “THE END” permanently sealing the days of your life between the covers, where do you suppose it would be placed in the library of eternity? For me, I would love to see my life story in the Classic section. A story of virtue, good vs. evil, with the heroine (me) defying the dark forces and being victorious in the end. But all kidding aside, as I hold my book and skim through the many pages, my first reaction would be to look around to make sure no one else was looking. I would be ashamed for others to read large sections of this book, especially my children and grandchildren. There are a few fun stories and shinning moments that I would want to share. But in this book, we aren’t allowed to pick & choose – everything must be included.
For many, their books would read like a tabloid – often imitating the actions of others and not taking the time to sort out life for themselves. There will be a sad group who would write their version of the TV Guide – living life vicariously through fictional characters created by someone else. I guess the largest section in the eternal library would be the ‘drama’ crowd. I’m not going to talk too loud about this … big portions of my life would place me in this group. Does this make-believe concept make you as uncomfortable as it does me?
The reason for this seemingly silly exercise is to point out that yes, we are writing our books. These books will not end when our bodies are laid to rest at death. These books are for eternity. God is the one who has access to all the books, because the eternal library is His. As I think about that, my first reaction is to breathe a sigh of relief that nobody else will see. But as I roll this concept around a little more, I become even more ashamed and humbled. I want to cry ‘Anyone BUT Him!’ You see, He created me with love, He was there to comfort me through the darkest hours, and He was there pleading with me to come out of my sin and back into His arms. I am reminded yet again the sheer wonder of His grace and mercy. You see, He is the sole editor of our books. He promises that if we come to Him with a true repentant heart, seeking forgiveness; He will cover our transgressions with the blood of Jesus. This blood will forever blot out our shameful deeds and then God promises to ‘remember them no more’.
As any good writer knows, you always keep the ending in mind as you write the chapters. With each page you move closer to that ultimate finale. We have to stop living each day like a TV sitcom. One day we will all stand in front of God. He will review our books with us, and our eternal destiny will forever be determined. My past is what it is, but each day is a new beginning. Across the top of each new page I write:
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
May the Lord bless you.