Alternate Ending

Some DVDs have an option that makes me crazy. Alternate Endings, Don’t like a movie’s conclusion? Just make a different selection in the main menu. This is ridiculous. A story should stand on its own merits. A film should confidently declare, “This is what I am. Don’t like it? Don’t watch.”

Your life? Your life is different. After all, you are a work in progress. Your life is a book you write each day and it can be changed as often as the author likes. And the author is you.

Changing direction in life is not tragic. Losing passion in life is.
~ Max Lucado

Several people I care about are, for one reason or another, changing their stories this year. They’re seeking their “alternate ending.” I can see that this is not easy. If I can’t feel their pain, I can at least understand their fear. One begins the year vowing to stay sober. Another is dealing with a failed marriage. Still another is going back to college at 45 years old. Each one has something in common; doubt. Do I have what it takes? How did this happen to me? How do I forgive myself? Does anyone care?

“Your life is a do-over. You’ve got a clean slate.” says Billy Crystal in the film, City Slickers. I would add, “Why is that something to be ashamed of?” Human history is filled with people who rewrote their stories. Is there a better example than George Dawson? Born in 1898, George was the grandson and great-grandson of African-American slaves. One of his early childhood memories was watching the lynching of a black teenager accused of sleeping with a white girl. At the age of 98, George decided he wanted to learn to read. Not only did he learn, he went on to study for his GED at age 103. His life story, Life Is So Good, was published in 2000. Talk about rewriting your story!

Do you have what it takes? Yes.

How did this happen to you? Lots of reasons. Who cares?

How do you forgive yourself? Time and doing good for others.

Does anyone care? More people than you know. We’re not real good at expressing it until people are gone.

Your life is a gift. The reason you’re reading this is that you’re still here and the purpose of your gift has not yet been fulfilled. The addiction is behind you. The marriage produced beautiful children and taught you much about love. A new career as you near 50? Sure, why the hell not? Someday, you and God will talk about story. He’ll tell you that He gave you a book with blank pages in it. You’ll tell Him how you filled them. You’ll tell Him it was hard and that you messed up a lot. You’ll admit that you had to start over several times. And you know what He’ll say? “Good, now come on…I have stuff to show you.”

Get busy writing. Your new beginning is really just an alternate ending. Find yours.