Writing a Different Future #1 – Turning Point
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is about a miserly old businessman named Ebenezer Scrooge who is confronted with the festivities of Christmas.
His response to Christmas is “Bah! Humbug.” He has no time for Christmas, and he bitterly resents how the holiday gets in the way of what’s really important – running a business and acquiring wealth.
He is first warned by a former business partner, Jacob Marley. Jacob is reaping the consequences of his sins, pictured as chains he forged in life link by link.
A second warning comes as Scrooge is shown the empty hollowness of his own heart and the consequences of giving too little. The poor family of Bob Cratchit, with a suffering child, show him how true riches are found in relationships.
A third and final warning serves as a turning point in the story as Scrooge is faced with the ultimate consequences of his life. He foresees different responses people have to his own death.
At a graveyard scene, Scrooge asks if he can write a different ending to his future. He begs for the chance to alter his life and so alter the outcome.
That is a provocative request – one that challenges us all.
If we stay the same, without changing, where are we headed? Are we truly satisfied with our lives? And, if not, how could we write a different life story than the one we are currently writing?
On one hand, in my own spiritual journey, I can say yes. I’m satisfied in my life with God, because I receive strength, encouragement, and comfort from God’s Word and by his Spirit every day.
On the other hand, I can say no. I am not satisfied, because I always want more of God. In this I want to write a different future for my life.
Paul reflected upon his own spiritual life in a similar way. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).
Paul was satisfied in knowing Christ and preaching Christ and becoming more like Christ. But he candidly confessed he hadn’t arrived. He maintained a holy discontent.
“I haven’t yet reached the height and depth and breadth of knowing Christ. I haven’t yet done all God has for me to do. I haven’t yet become all God wants me to be.”
We can write a different future for our lives in several ways. In the next devotionals, I’ll describe how.
Think about where you are in your spiritual life right now. What would you like to see change?
~ Pastor Dave