Who hates movie endings, right?
This is an absurd idea… or, is it absurd that we all don’t hate movie endings more than we do?
Think about it. You invest hours of your life into following a story, only to have it end happily, tragically, or ambiguously. Every movie, good or bad, has an ending. If nothing else, a time comes when you have to leave the theater and drive away.
I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions and saying goodbye… and I’ve decided that movies set us up to expect something from reality that we seldom ever get.
I’ll resolve that thought in a moment.
A few months ago, a dear friend of mine passed away. If you’ve lived, then, chances are, you’ve lost someone at one point or another. It’s hard for me to get past a week without thinking of things that were unresolved in our relationship… and, I find myself wishing that things would have played out differently. I have no regrets about our friendship – I’m just shocked (for lack of a better term) at the stark finality of death. I want to share more stories with my friend. I want him to grow old and get to know his grandchildren. I want him to have another tomorrow – a chance to hear birds, love his family and take a Sunday off from volunteering as a Sunday School teacher to play a round of golf.
It’s been nearly 5 months since a colleague and close friend of my family resigned from her position on our church staff to become a chaplain at a private school in the heart of Los Angeles. I know that transitions happen, but, after years of investing in a relationship and a ministry partnership, it’s hard to lose the results of the effort and relational capital that’s we’ve both invested in each other. Sure, we’ll still be friends… but, she’s moved on to the next exciting chapter of her life and has left us all behind.
So, I was listening to an author by the name of Don Miller talk about what makes a good movie a good movie… or what makes a good story a good story. Basically, he was able to put into words and name for me what I hate about movie endings – a good story has closure. Even if the movie ends and you know that the story goes on, you know that there has been some sort of conflict that’s been resolved and you can rest, knowing that resolution has happened and the movie world is a better place because of it.
Now… I’ll tie it all together, because that’s what the expectation is, right?
There will always be something else you could have done/said/fought for… but, at the end of the day, the day ends with things undone.
At the end of every movie, when the screen fades to black, we need to remember that the story goes on. Our stories go on. Long after our life here fades out, our story will continue. Movies set us up to expect closure – but I’m beginning to doubt that it ever actually happens or exists in reality.
Anyone else feel this way, or am I just getting bummed out by the week of rain we’ve had in Southern California?