This morning I went on a walk with a friend. We went to a cemetery, enjoying the cool breeze before the air settled into a hot, humid blanket over the earth. Believe it or not, cemeteries are good places to think. Being around so many who have gone before always leads me to remember something: Life on earth is just a blink, then it’s gone. There are people buried in the shadows of chiseled headstones who have been laid to rest longer than they were ever alive. It’s impossible for me to get that perspective and believe this is all there is; that there’s no eternity, nothing beyond what’s now.
Whenever an author sits down to write a sequel to a story, she must remember all that took place in the previous story. Her new story is defined by the old one, because she can’t go back and change what’s already happened. If, for example, a character was tall, that same character must be tall in the sequel. If a character’s uncle passed away in the first book, that uncle can’t be alive in the sequel. See? What happens in the first story matters. No, it’s not the end of those characters’ journeys, but their experiences don’t just go away.
That’s our life. In terms of a story, we go through different chapters, different scenes, different moments. Each of these instances matter because we only have one chance. Unlike this post you’re reading, I can’t go back and “edit” a part of my life once it’s been “published”; once it’s already happened. See? One opportunity to live this life.
But this life isn’t all there is. There’s more. Eternity is real, whether we acknowledge it or not. We all have a sequel coming–a “Part II”—whether we experience that sequel united or separated from the Author of our life stories. What we do now affects this “Part II.” When we stand before the throne of God at the end of life, we can’t go back and change that moment when we made a critical decision. We can’t change our mistakes, our defiance, our choices. Our story. What happens in “Part I” affects what will happen in “Part II.” Did we choose to ask God for His forgiveness, believe in His Son’s death that covered our sins, and decide to live a life that brings Him glory?
Or are we living like a stand-alone story? Like a blink that lasts for a second and is over forever?
This is my 100th blog post. The 100th entry in an online journal of sorts that shares pieces of my story. It’s not a novel, because a novel is fiction and believe me, my life is real. It’s like an autobiography, I guess. No, I don’t share every little detail about my life here on my blog, but the chapters I live through are represented here. From the light-hearted to the heart-breaking and all the stuff in between. I also know there is more to my story than what happens between now and my final breath: eternity awaits.
Actually, that’s half true. See, eternity stretches before us, but it also begins the moment you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior—your only Savior. Yes, the Author knows what’s coming next in your story, but once you accept His plans for your life, He begins to reveal these glimpses of eternity. These previews of the sequel, to continue the metaphor.
Words fail how thankful I am that God loves me enough to not only give me a story, but to include me in His story—the greatest love story in history. The story of the Creator joining the ranks of the created so that death could die and our story could continue forever.
I’m also thankful to you, reader. Whether you’re one of the few who have been around since the very beginning, you’ve hung out with me for a while, or this is your first visit. Thank you for investing your time in reading my story. Thank you, too, to those of you who leave comments, send me emails, or speak to me in person, telling me pieces of your own story and how it relates to mine.
All of that is what makes all of this worth it. It’s why I sit down and blog, even when I’ve got a big exam to study for, even when my life feels like a scrambled jigsaw puzzle, even when my heart feels so full I can barely sit still. I continue to blog, even when I don’t know if anyone will read what I write, or if those who do read it will even understand what I’m trying to say. It’s because how I choose to live this little life of mine matters. Your choice matters, too. And it’s one small way I can attempt to offer a meager thanks to the One who faithfully leads me through each chapter of life.
What will happen between now and my 200th blog post? I have no idea, but I’m excited to see what the Author of life has planned.
In His love,
“Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12