Saturday, June 28, 2014

Necessary Endings or “What just happened?”

I just spent five days dismantling a 6000 square foot warehouse facility, tearing down shelving units, moving desks, cabinets, tables, computer equipment, etc. It was tedious, physical labor. It was also the culmination of 44 years in the same career.

The last thing I did was sweep the floor. I swept every corner. It was the same job I started with 44 years ago, and as I did it I thought to myself “This is the last time I will ever do this, and I want to end well.”

It was really a very spiritual experience shutting down the building. It gave finality to a huge part of my life that I didn’t feel when I stopped working my regular sales route a couple of months back. There simply was no time to think about things in the rush of transferring accounts, consulting people, and signing papers. But last week there was all kinds of time to reflect while doing the mundane tasks of unscrewing shelves and cutting stuff up.

But it was a necessary ending. The next phase of life was begging for my attention.

There are all kinds of necessary endings. Here are a few I thought of, some of which we may let go of reluctantly.

  • Living at our parents house
  • A bad relationship
  • Our school years
  • A comfortable but dead end job
  • An affair or an addiction
  • An unrealistic dream 
  • The single life

For most of us, we will struggle with some of these necessary endings. It will require embracing loss and allowing ourselves to grieve. It will require us to look beyond the present and to believe that there will be good days ahead. Even death offers the possibility of a perfect future. 

I did not have to end my career -- a job was offered to me when we sold our business. I had to actively make a choice to let go and move on. The decision was bathed in prayer for a long time, mine and many others. But it was essential for other dreams to materialize.  

Jesus had a necessary ending, too. It was not an easy decision. It required unbearable suffering and totally surrendering his will to God. 
Hebrews 9:22 (NLT) In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. 
It was necessary that Jesus end his life so that we could be forgiven. And it was an act of unimaginable love for our sake. 
John 15:13 (NLT) There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Isn't it comforting to know that Jesus calls us His friend?

1 comment:

  1. Are there unnecessary endings? Maybe there are "hard necessary endings" and "soft necessary endings". Hard ones are handed to you with little sense of choice and you are moved along faster by the stream of events. Soft ones appear to have a prominent aspect of choice. People will hold you responsible for making an "unforced choice". Soft ones seem more difficult in some ways. There is more time for nostalgia.