"The end of a matter is better than its beginning." (Ecclesiastes 7:8a)
There I met familiar figures, and places I’d called home, walking paths I’d wandered once, across the distant years. Springs and summers of green and bloom; autumns of mist and gold. Winters of splintered diamonds cast to freeze the sleeping world.
Yet the chasm of time began to narrow, and with it my sight grew shorter and sharp, the story touching nearer to present pains. Old words and scars gave way to marks raw and fresh, ones still being etched upon my soul. And I came to a void upon one page, final letters teetering upon the brink of an unknown precipice. In the emptiness of the uncertainty I read a warning that pierced my thought:
“Behold, you have come to the Chapter’s End.”
I longed to remain in familiar paragraphs, the charted word-map of memory’s gaze. With ink penning each page, I would never lack for the safety of the known world.
I paused to lay my finger upon the last page, but…just what lay beyond the Chapter’s End?
With shaking hands I tucked into my heart the memories of previous pages. Into a drawer went the words and worlds I knew. I might take them out and admire them, and their wisdom I hid inside me, but I did not belong within those pages any longer. I was becoming.
Some dreams I laid within that drawer; some I bore with me for the journey ahead, for hope in the Author’s promises are what many dreams were made for.
The pages ahead were crisp and new, a canvas of earth and sky, empty to fill. Metal ready for the maker’s hand, were these the many chapters still yet to come.
I was struck by an ache of sadness, as I turned the chapter, humbly uplifting the days ahead. And I glanced back over the shoulder of the page, to the chasm of uncertainty, the last of what I knew. But if the greatest adventure lies ever ahead of me, then so too must a story eternally look forward. The pages of this book, I now knew, were not meant to be turned back.
I cannot see to “the end,” nor can I often peer even beyond each chapter’s close. But there is one who has read this story before, and he is the great bridge builder. Therefore I need not fear the brink of what is ahead, nor the current of uncertainty, which rages beneath. For a book penned in the blood of sacrifice is firmly bound, and its author can always be trusted.
As chapters of our stories close, they need not always signify the giving up of something, but instead they represent a continuing on, new notes intertwining to fill the symphony, which will only make it deeper and more beautiful. There is joy ahead, and there is sorrow, but what we have read we take with us, as the author leads along sentence paths he well knows and has trod before—if only we will allow the page to be turned.
"There are far greater things ahead than any we leave behind." (C.S. Lewis)
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All work subject to copyright by the author. Use by permission only. 2014.