Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you could read your own life’s story? Imagine turning 18 and someone handing you a book with the rest of your life contained inside – the joys, the heartbreaks, the surprises, and the devastations. Would you read it? Would you want to know all of life’s mysteries, knowing that once you finished reading there would never be any more mystery?
I thought about that tonight. Would I really want to know everything my life will contain? And if I did, would I change the way I lived?
The answer to that latter question is undoubtably, yes. I would change the way I live. I would know in advance who I should and should not give my heart to. I would know who I should invest in and who I should run from. I would know what financial investments to not make and what life choices to get a head start on. I would know who I’d marry, when I’d meet him, and how our romance story would unfold. I would know how many children I’d have, what they’ll be named, and what amazing things they’ll grow up to do. I’d know how old my parents would be when they passed on and I’d know to what age my husband and I would live to. I’d learn how we would both grow old together and how my life on this earth would end.
And then, the story would be over.
I’d close the book and know everything there is to know and honestly… I’d be saddened. Maybe I’d be able to protect myself from heartache and pain. But I would never experience true vulnerability or trust. Maybe I’d be able to hold my love back from anyone other than the man I’ll marry, but then I’d never know what it means to have loved and lost and I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate the love I’ll someday have with my spouse.
There would be no mystery, no surprise, no anticipation. Instead, the waiting process would feel twice as long and I’d constantly be trying to stay ahead of the game instead of enjoying the process.
Possibly, I’d be able to avoid feeling overwhelmed at situations because I’d know how they’d turn out, but then I’d never need to lean on someone for help or trust God for strength. I’d rely solely on myself and never experience what it’s like to have a friend help or offer their shoulder to cry on.
There are days I wish I knew what the next day would hold. There are times I wish I knew when certain things in life would happen – like when good will finally triumph over unjust situations or when people will finally seek forgiveness or offer closure. I suppose though, not knowing for certain when or if those things will happen in our lifetime is partially what offers us hope.
Part of the beauty of life is the mystery contained within – the mystery of the unknown, the mystery of love and loss, and the mystery of life itself. We don’t know how long we have on this earth and we don’t know what will happen one day to the next.
We can choose to be fearful about the future or dwell in the past since it’s the only thing we know for certain. Or we can choose to enjoy the journey and embrace the mystery.
Thankfully, the only one who knows my future is the One who created it. God knows exactly how your story and mine will play out, but I’m thankful that the masterpiece is only revealed piece by piece.
Each piece may not look like much on its own, but when the story is complete, we’ll be able to look at the masterpiece of our lives and stand back in awe.
Mystery is a beautiful thing.