I don’t like endings.
I’m not talking about when things come to their satisfactory, predicted resolution. In fact, I rather appreciate those, for the most part.
When I say “I don’t like endings”, I’m talking about the abrupt, unpredictable endings that we don’t plan for or see coming.
They can be small endings, like when a visit with a loved one is cut short by a forgotten commitment or losing track of time, or true first-world problems like when the DVR cuts off the final minutes of your favorite show (“what was Jack gonna say to Rebecca?!”).
These endings can leave us frustrated or disappointed and perhaps even a little unsettled.
Other times the ending comes with greater impact, like a life cut short or a relationship severed. Sometimes it’s the end of an ability, a future cut short or a hope and plan destroyed.
The kind of endings that really leave a mark on our souls.
The kind that seemingly knock the world off its axis.
Once upon a time I would’ve said my disdain for endings was because of my need to control things. While I’m not going to say that isn’t at least partially true, I now know that my dislike of endings is actually because my brain was created to see things to their proper resolution.
Our brains are designed to predict. When circumstances are counter to what we've anticipated, research shows there's a sort of 'pain in the brain'. As the result of an unanticipated outcome, the reward center of the brain is deprived of the chemical that is released when the ‘right’ outcome is achieved.
Instead of feeling satisfied we feel anxious, angry or sorrowful.
We begin to feel ill at ease when we realize we can’t predict the outcome; that things are headed in the wrong direction. In fact, although there might not be a physical threat to us as result of what’s happening, our brain interprets it the same exact way.
As a result, our focus is diminished and we have trouble thinking about much else.
Lately, I’ve been living in this state.
It’s been an avalanche of uncertainty and unexpected endings. Things cut short, unpredicted outcomes, journeys thrown into chaos.
I must admit, in some ways I feel knocked of my axis.
But through it all, I can’t help but notice the timing.
In case you’ve not been paying attention, we are in the Easter season.
That might not mean the same thing for everyone, but in reflecting on the 'original Easter season', it brings up some parallels for me.
Like me, the best friends of Jesus would be blind-sided by what was about to happen (even though He tried to warn them. Perhaps like me they didn’t want to see the signs).
Like me, a mother’s heart would be broken and grieving.
Like me, all who loved and followed Him were unsure of the future.
Like me, those closest to Jesus would find it difficult to focus on little else as they watched their World get knocked from its axis.
Like me, they would experience some of their darkest days. And perhaps like me, at times they found it a challenge to scrounge up any hope to cling to.
Friday was dark.
Saturday was silent.
They didn’t know Sunday was coming.
On this side of the resurrection, we do know.
We can wait with anticipation for the celebration.
But on that first Friday, celebration wasn’t even on their radar.
From where I sit this day, I can say it is truly Saturday.
I don’t know what my own personal Sunday will be, but I can say that regardless of what comes, the Ultimate Sunday will still hold my Hope and my Promise.
I so desperately want it to come with resolution for those I love who are experiencing such devastating endings.
I pray His resurrection breathes New Life into their stories.
And into mine.
Lord Jesus, come.
Be the Author of new beginnings.
And new endings.