I confess. I tend to overdo things I love.
Sushi by the boatload. Fishing marathons in the backyard. Tiger Woods golf tourneys on the iPad. Facebook shares of the grandkids. Coffee and good books in the early morning.
And when writing, I overuse ellipses. Not commas like most folks, but ellipses. Yep, the three dots you see in a sentence indicating there is more to come.
An ellipsis indicates a pause. It is as if you almost completed a thought; you felt like the sentence was done.
But then something more emerges in you mind
there was more to the thought than you thought.
I live a constant ellipsis–the space between the dreaming and the coming true. The gaping chasm between what “is” and what “ought to be”.
Frequently it feels like a slow motion nightmare. I often wish there was no “could be” or “should be” to compare with “what is” because the frustration of the in-between is, well…just so frustrating!
You know what I mean. That period of waiting on something you passionately desire when confusion raises a spectrum of questions that can only be summed up by the verbal sigh, “There has GOT to be more!”
A lot of people look at a life with my backstory and automatically punctuate it with a period. They logically conclude this guy’s best years, biggest accomplishments and brightest moments are behind him. He blew it. Disqualified. Out of commission. Down for the count.
Truth is, the end of the sentence looms over everyone no matter their history. Whether through personal implosion like mine, or external explosion like so many others, the end of “what might have been” seems your future reality.
- You are handed the divorce papers or the pink slip.
- You receive the doctor’s diagnosis or the final bill.
- You stand at the foot of the casket or the ashes of the dream house.
- You find the secreted stash of porn or illegal bottle of pills.
- You get a gold watch for too much gray hair and find you are no longer needed.
The simple fact is life sometimes postures moments that on the surface appear to be dead ends, dead drops or dead dreams.
But Jesus never puts a period at the end of life sentences.
This Kingdom He is building is a realm of second chances and fresh starts. His Bible is a history–a litany–of dead ends turned into new beginnings.
- A completely insane man living in a graveyard…clothed, right mind and telling all His friends about the One who changed everything.
- A woman with a laundry-list of exes who wouldn’t dare be seen with respectable people…satiated on living water and telling her whole town about the one who made her fractured life whole.
- A close disciple feeling like a failure and hiding in a fishing boat…restored and carrying good news of a God who never forsakes to a seemingly God-forsaken world.
- A dead friend and his disappointed sisters…who rolled back a gravestone to find there was life on the other side of a death certificate.
I’m afraid He too is guilty of the overuse of ellipsis…
He is the God of more to come.
The grizzled Apostle was “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
The God who raised Jesus from the dead is addicted to picking up where life leaves off. He gets His divine jollies from doing the stuff that makes even His most ardent followers say, “no way!” He loves to choose foolish things to leave the wise scratching their heads.
It’s what Paul envisioned when he prayed, “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1: 18)
Psalmists of the Older Testament had their own form of ellipsis.
Stop and think about it. Before you go on, wrap your mind around what has been said. It will be necessary to understand it in order to grasp what is yet to come.
It isn’t easy living between. Sometimes faith gets stretched and hope is strained.
Periods of waiting often feel more like tombs than tunnels.
But the ellipsis moments of life are the seasons where we strain the pulp of history for the seeds of destiny. It is in the moments of “not yet” that we process the past to decipher the GPS coordinates for the “yet to come”.
So when your mind relays to your heart a message from the kingdom of no hope that you are:
- Too old
- Too failed
- Too different
- Too broken
- Too extreme
You just remember that in the Kingdom of Promise
…there is always more to come.
“That’s why we have this Scripture text:
No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love Him.
But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, MSG)