It was daylight savings time, meaning I would lose an hour, but I could not resist. I had a 7 AM call time, but I just had to finish! This 500+ page-turner was getting the best of me! Forcing my eyes open I turned page after page, finally giving up with less than 15 pages to go. The next day I rushed home from church and was both anxious and hesitant about finishing the book. There were still unresolved issues that seemed unlikely to be resolved in the last 15 pages! I sat down, read the ending, and let out a sigh of relief as I closed the book for the very last time.
What is the fascination with books? Although some consider thin sheets of paper enclosed by a hard or soft back cover antiquated, books have stood the test of time. They provide the perfect vehicle for storytelling and supply generations with age-old narratives. However, the value of books are in the stories they tell. So whether we continue to use the old system of paper and ink, fully adopt ereaders and tablets, or “graduate” to something even more innovative, stories are the key and will always be told. It doesn’t matter if its a mystery or a romance, they will be told. I don’t care if it’s in a magazine or on a big screen, they will be told. They will be told because stories give us hope. Stories give us permission to trust. And I’d even be so presumptuous to say that stories reflect the glory of God.
Even before you crack open a book and read the acknowledgements the ending is already decided. Even before you purchase your ticket and get your favorite concession stand snack or before you fold your legs and wait on the storyteller to part their lips, what you will see and hear has long been decided. Subjected to the author’s pen and unable to be manipulated by listeners, once written, stories are molded into history. The only power the consumer truly has over a story is how it will be received. As readers, we are not initially privy to the outcome, but become more and more aware of the author’s direction as we continue reading. We sit at the edge of our seats, trusting that by the end of the book the author will right the wrongs and bring closure to mysteries that have yet to be explained.
Each one of us is “reading” a book called life. But thankfully, as Christ-believers, we know our story ends in victory (I Corinthians 15:57). We are not told the details of every coming day, but we live each moment becoming more aware of the author (Hebrews 12:2). Our author is loving. Our author is just. Our author is compassionate. Our author is righteous. And this awareness of Him gives us faith to believe that regardless of what happens our author has already made everything alright (Romans 8:28). “Chapter 7” looked bleak and “chapter 22” seemed hopeless, but if nothing more, we are promised that the final “chapter” will be eternally redemptive.
Have you been trusting the Author?