What would you like your friends say about you when you die? That you were a person who loved God and loved people… that you were compassionate, always putting the needs of others before your own? Of course, you do! Unfortunately, for some of us that won’t be the case because we never planned the end from the beginning!
You see, when a Hollywood producer makes a movie, he or she always has the end in mind before they start production. They design the different segments of the movie, making sure they all lead to the desired ending. If one of the segments doesn’t fit the ending they planned, they pull it out and create one that does fit.
If you and I want our lives to have a great ending, we must likewise plan the different segments of our lives to produce the desired result.
Pay now and play later
I like to say it this way: If we pay now, we can play later. But that’s the opposite of what most people do! Good planning calls for great discipline and keeping the end well in sight. Like a movie producer, you and I get to control each act and dictate how it ends.
The key to a good ending is sticking to the script: the Word of God. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith; He is also the Director of our life, as the Apostle Paul tells us in Hebrews 12:2.
I heard a story of an old man who sat on a park bench every afternoon, reading the newspaper. One day a young man sat next to him and, after a few minutes, leaned over to the older gentleman and said, “Sir I’m sorry to interrupt you, but do you have the time?” After a long pause, the old man turned, said “No” and went on reading the paper.
The stunned young man interrupted him and said, “Sir, you have on a watch and I don’t understand why you would say ‘no’ to my request. Did I not ask you politely, or did I offend you in some way?”
The old man said, “Son, you seem like a very nice young man. If I told you the time, we may have gotten into a conversation. Then I might have come to like you and invited you to my house for dinner. When you came over, because you are a handsome young man, my single daughter, who is beautiful, probably would have been attracted to you and you to her. You’d ask her out and there would be a good chance that you would ask her to marry you. Well, I don’t want my daughter to marry somebody who can’t afford a watch.”
Keep the perfect ending in mind
Now that’s a little radical, but the truth is this: You’ll never reach your desired end unless you begin and arrange the rest of your life’s journey with the end in mind. God showed Jeremiah as a young man what his life’s journey was to look like, and Jeremiah kept that vision before him. Surely, our destiny can also be fulfilled if we keep our end goal in mind at all times.
Think about how you would like your obituary to read and the legacy you want your family to continue. Will the unfolding of your life’s script bring glory to God? Take the time today and plan your ending. Then begin at the end!