Endings can be elusive. Maybe you’ve run out of time, or perhaps your story has too many loose ends and you just can’t find a conclusion, or maybe you’ve become attached to your story and you’re just not ready to let it go, endings can be like the carrot on the end of a stick and you find yourself doomed to keep walking never able to enjoy it.
My previous attempt to discuss endings was tragic and almost half-hearted, which usually makes for terrible endings let alone shallow posts. I couldn’t stop writing and then posted it before I really recognized what I did. I actually lost some sleep over it. There is so much more to think about in regards to creating an appropriate ending for our tales. Answering questions like, ‘what is the point?’ or ‘why are you even talking?’ can make us feel naked when we don’t have an answer.
Again I’ll point to religion to help flush the concept out: Jesus forever changed our ending by giving us salvation. Because of the love that was shown us on the cross, we have the hope of a better ending than eternal suffering. With Him, our conclusion is eternal life in His presence of love. Revelation chapter 21 gives us a great picture of the ending God has in store for those who believe.
Verse 3-4: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Now that’s an ending worth believing in! Because of it people through the ages have endured much suffering, pain, and persecution.
Now to a much lesser degree, and in an attempt to address the issues mentioned in the intro of this post- in the stories I make up for my kids the standard ending I employ is that of good triumphing over evil. Again I would point to Jesus as the anchor for this approach. It gives hope and courage when the brokenness of this world rises up. There is something about the order of it that connects with us deeply.
Running out of time can make for some hilarious last minute decisions, but as long as I stick to the ‘good triumphs over evil’ order, my kids are happy. If not, like when I just kill everyone, they’ll again let me know by shouting, “NOOOOOOOO!!” When the issue is loose ends, it’s a good opportunity to employ chapters. Tying each one can be its own chapter. But if you’ve become attached to your story, then it’s time to write it down. It’ll be the next bestseller!
Yes, endings can be elusive like that carrot, and sometimes you have to ignore it and eat grass instead. Unless your kids are shouting at you to change your ending, I’d say you’re good. Don’t let any failures stop you, let them teach you. When we do that, we equip our children in how to deal with and learn from their own failures, and that right there is a pretty awesome ending.