Endings

I’m not good at endings. When I get to the last chapter, last ten pages of a book I put off reading the rest. I wait a day, a week. There’s something  so final about being done. Like when I close the book, I have to move on.

I have a hard time with endings and people as well. Ironically many think I’m good at this. Resilient. Good at goodbyes, letting go. When I feel something is going to end in life, I rush. I’d rather just be over with it. Limbo is not a land I live well in. So, often I’ve chosen to let go, quickly.

Recently, as I learn more about myself through Seminary, I’ve been trying to create new patterns. Where before shutting down and letting go quickly seemed the most favorable choices, now I’m trying to savor and process.

But life is full of endings. Every 30 days or so a month ends. Fall had to end so winter could begin. The sun “ends” for the rain to come. School assignments end when I turn them in. A chapter of life ended when I graduated Fox, moved to Lincoln City. Songs end. The day must end for night to come. Eyes must close for sleep to nourish.

The small and monumental, all endings are like little deaths. Jesus had to die before he could raise from the dead. Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

When a seed is planted, in essence it has to die before new life can come forth. 

I don’t quite know how the wiring of life works. Each day is overflowing with endings. We check them off our lists, clock out, press “send”, and close our books.

Yet somehow, each day is brimming with beginnings. Almost without pause the tiny deaths of a day become new, resurrected life. Right in the middle of the paradoxical natural rhythm of closing-opening, dying-living, finishing-starting, ending-beginning, is Christ.

Endings are not to be rushed. But neither are they to be put off. Every part of life is meant to be lived. Not just the beginnings.

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