For many of us, life has been a series of endings, followed by a series of beginnings. From one to the next we move without much ado, always moving forward in some sort of progression. Life is marked by these moments; from nursing at our mother's breast to eating ground up green goop (which is actually rumored to be green peas before mostly masticated artificially before consumption) to chowing down on a fine steak with our own teeth, to chewing without success on a fine steak with manufactured teeth, to finally just dreaming of the steak while eating the green goop again. This journey of endings and beginnings follows throughout many other areas of our lives, but for some folks it seems that their life gets stuck in one of the beginnings and never track through to its ending, until it of course reaches a final ending....of life! Such was the lesson observed this last weekend; a final end to a never ending cycle of starts, but never finishes. A life, tragically lost in its youth, but seemingly destined to end there from the last beginning.
Alongside this observation comes the additional details that this specific "never ending ending" relates not to the physical aspects of life, but rather the spiritual growth of one who has come to know Jesus as Savior. The ending in specific focus is that of the leaving the world behind and starting forward in Christ; as a new creation. What is it that is so deeply rooted in the soul of one, who in desperation comes to Christ, but in exasperation never moves beyond a repetitive motion of starting, failing, starting, failing....? In this particular example, the action of Christ upon the heart of this one was producing a change, but there was still an open door to the temptations of the world that led this one to his ultimate end; as far as earthly endings go, that is! I think that at some moment, in those last moments, the booze quit lying as the blood flowed and said, "yep, you're dying"; to late to change the outcome, but early enough for the realization that what Christ had already paid for was squandered in the lie of that which sought the fall of the pursuer. A life ended, so much lost...in earthly terms, but it is in God's hands as far as the Heavenly matter is concerned. The lesson will not be lost though....rather emphasized and repeated for anyone who will hear. There are no shortcuts with Jesus! The cheap remedy posed by others, who themselves run from allowing sin to be confronted in their lives, proved to be as damaging to the one as the booze which ultimately provided the "courage" for the last moments before death would come. The "godly" ones, posing as the do all to end all for the ones who feel intimidated by the black and white presentation of God's Word, run themselves from the conviction of the Holy Spirit, because they confuse it with the condemnation of the world, rather than the intended loving correction of the Father. Who has demonstrated over and over again, that He will, because of His love, correct His children....not let them run a muck as the world does and applauds. The time frame of the lure of the cheap remedy till the acceptance of the lie that leads to death? Less than one month! The world itself would love to have that kind of success, but this unfortunately comes most successfully at the hands and feet of the religious...."peddling" the Word of God as an appetizer to an already full plate of the world. May this never be in the Body of Christ! The never ending cycle of endings will end and we will all stand (or kneel) before our Maker and either give account of our actions...or if the transaction with Jesus has never been made according to His requirements, head directly to hell. Harsh? Yep, but so is deception....especially when it ends a life!