the last chapter


Repost from September 2010

I love a good story or book with a happy ending, who doesn’t? Although, I bet I’m not the only one who gets a little somber after a great last chapter.

There are lots of reasons I drift toward melancholy after a happy ending. First of all I’m going to miss being captivated by the story that has engrossed me. One of the other reasons is that although the story or ending was pleasurable, it sometimes leaves me with the desire for a more perfect world instead of the fallen one we’re trudging through.

The biggest reason for my solemn introspective is the fact that it’s over. Never to be duplicated in exactly the same way. The storyline has been revealed and so has my heart. I know there are more happy endings to be read and lived, but not this one, this one’s finished.

The best books always seem to teach us something more than just the story. The truly great ones teach us something about ourselves. Most of the time the wisdom learned from the story is a painful revelation of our shortcomings.

I’m fascinated with the books all around me. Every person in this world is a living book… I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out what type of book the characters I witness are writing. Their words only tell a small part of the story. A few words from the author and I can tell if it’s non-fiction or fiction. I’ve also learned I don’t have a clue how to figure out their story based on their cover.

Some of my favorite living books are plain ole paperbacks. The actions of these books tell their story. Most often their words aren’t pretty or poetic, but they’re deep in meaning and wisdom.

If you’re not looking for these living books you might miss them. They might just look like people walking around. Make no mistake, they’re more than people walking around, they’re living books telling a story… Some fiction, some non-fiction. Some happy, sad, joyful or full of sorrow. Every one of them writing the chapters of their lives.

I was fortunate early in my life to get a front row seat to the writing of my dad’s life. Although a simple man of few words, his actions, which are significantly more powerful than mere words, spoke volumes. He left the flexible template and outline for me to follow in order to write my own story.

Some of the chapters in my dad’s life weren’t easy. The story line took some twists and turns resulting in difficult physical and financial times. No matter where the writing of his life took him, there was always faith, trust, joy, and peace in his heart with a snap in his step.

He learned to weave every chapter of his life together with God as his inspiration and strength. In my dad’s last chapter, less than two months before God took him home, he had this to say, “Son, you know I don’t want to leave. God’s blessed me here with a great family, but if he chooses to take me, I win either way.”

After reading the great book of my dad’s life, I am left with sadness and joy… The book is closed, but I’m still learning from it. His living book has also revealed to me the many rewrites I need in my life.

I cherished my dad’s living book… It was such an amazing book, I just never, ever wanted it to end…

While writing the book of my life I had and idea how to finish it, but needed some direction and inspiration. I thank God he provided my dad for that purpose.

I am determined to finish with honor, “The Last Chapter”…