The problem with exciting conclusions is that you have to have conflict and danger first. In a book or movie this is relatively easy; you know the running time of the movie and you can see how far you are into the book – even an e-book. In an epic like The Lord of the Rings there may be many crises leading to the final satisfying resolutions for all the protagonists. In series stories like Harry Potter you get the satisfaction of resolving multiple conflicts; one per book and then the final conclusion.
When we read a book or see a movie with an unsatisfying conclusion most of us tend to feel cheated. Movie critics are the only people I know who seem to like unhappy endings. Needless to say, I am not close friends with any movie critics.
Unfortunately, with life we have no way of knowing where we are in the story. Is this problem going to be solved? If so when, and to whose satisfaction? In real life, there’s no point at which you can say, “It can’t get any worse.” Likewise, the happily ever after ending is never assured. But that’s what makes real life real. A tragedy is just that.
However, how we handle a tragedy is what sets on person apart from another. Likewise we all have our share of miracles, and once again, how we deal with them is what’s important. It’s not so much about what happens as whether we let things conquer us or if we conquer them. Sudden wealth can be just as devastating as sudden poverty. On the other hand a person’s response to good or bad can be inspiring or devastating.
George Carlin had a line in his routine that said, “Remember, inside every silver lining – there’s a dark cloud.” It’s funny because we humans inherently believe in the silver lining. Is that irrational? I think not. I think we are born to seek and try to find the good in every situation. If there’s an ocean we sail it. If there’s a mountain, we climb it. It doesn’t even have to be an obstacle – just by virtue of it being there we are drawn to explore, learn and conquer. The first thing we must conquer in any of these situations, of course, is ourselves and our own fear.
I believe that as children of God there’s an inherent goodness that surrounds us; this is His love for us. We may not understand why things happen, or even exactly what is happening, but we don’t need to. We want to and we tie ourselves into knots trying to, but we’re in the middle of life and only someone who can step back and see the whole picture could understand it. He’s in a position to see the big picture, whereas I’m not. I’m better off to trust Him.
As I’ve said many times before, even when the glass is half empty, it’s also half full. If it isn’t even half full, there’s still something in the glass. When the glass is empty I still have an advantage. When I find what I’m seeking I have the glass to put it in and carry it home.