Friday, November 30, 2012

If you had the option, would you choose to see the end of your story?

A few weeks ago I was asked the question, “If you had the option, would you choose to see the end of your story?" My immediate response was no, I would rather not know. Knowing the ending would confine me to a single state of living with an out of context view of where my life is going to end up.  I want to live my life in faith that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.

After digging into the question a little deeper, I came to the conclusion that I've never been one to read the end of a book first, so why would that be any different for my life. The suspense that occurs in the plot is what keeps me reading a book, not the ending. The story could have the perfect ending; the princess gets the prince, the good guy wins the fight, or the expedition team reaches the summit, but none of that matters if the plot isn’t interesting. If there is no learning, conflict or struggle, the ending has no depth and it’s just an event that occurs.

I get bored with stories about a character where everything just magically happens to them and they never have to challenge themselves; the stories where a girl meets a boy and they live happily ever after or a person walks up Mt. Everest with no training or difficulty or where a millionaire wins the lottery. Those aren’t stories I want to read. The stories that keep me reading are those with conflict; the stories where the main character is faced with challenges and makes some sort of transformation while overcoming those challenges.

The conflicts and challenges I’ve faced haven’t been my favorite parts of my story, but they have given my life more depth and meaning. When I reach the end of my story, whether the ending is tragic or happy, I want the story to mean something and be worth reading. If we choose to accept life’s challenges, we will evolve and our story will be meaningful. It’s like we live our lives in a spectrum of light. Life without challenge only allows for learning and movement in a few colors, but those who are faced with challenges and overcome those challenges move between all of the colors and have a deeper understanding of the spectrum of life. Life's meaning can’t be understood by seeing the ending of the story first, it must be experienced and challenges must be overcome.