Keep asking this question

Several years ago, a friend of mine was watching his son play hockey at the old Civic Auditorium. 

Throughout the game, fans from both teams were yelling at one another until finally one of them said, “You guys think you are so tough. Who wants to step outside with me?” My friend said, “I do,” and so they headed off to settle the score.

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As they reached the bottom of the stairs, my friend stopped and said, “If we go outside, it is going to be serious, so here is what is going to happen. I am going to buy you a coffee and we are going to sit here and drink them together. After that, if you still want to go outside and fight, then we will.”

Meanwhile, my friend’s other son heard what had happened, so he ran down the stairs to make sure that his dad was not in trouble. Imagine his surprise when he turned the corner and found these two men laughing and talking instead of punching each other out.

A bad situation turned out for the best simply because my friend had the wisdom to ask himself, “How do I want this story to end?” 

In Luke 14, Jesus says, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it … Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with 10,000 men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” (Verses 28-30). It is important to think things though, because the end of the story is the most important part.

People spend a lot of time thinking about new beginnings. We often obsess about how we feel right now. Yet, we make the best decisions when we think, “Regardless of where I am now or what I am going through, how do I want this story to end?” 

Jesus encouraged us to keep this long-term view in mind when he said, “My Father’s house has many rooms… I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).

That is the best ending of all!

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