Unexpected Endings

Unexpected Endings

By Steven J. Callis


I recently finished reading a novel by a writer that is new to me, Robert Whitlow, a best-selling author of legal novels and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction.  A practicing attorney, Whitlow has been writing since 1996. His novels are set in the South and written around legal suspense, rich characterization, and an occasional hint of romance.  Woven into the stories are spiritual themes that challenge and inspire, and avid readers compare his style to that of novelist John Grisham.

            As I approached the end of this novel, the predictable conclusion was obvious, yet it never materialized.  Instead, the author left his readers with a sadder and somewhat unexpected conclusion.  Slightly disappointed, I was glad to discover on the last page that readers are encouraged to visit the author’s website for an alternative ending to the book.  Following the link, I found the ending that I had anticipated and preferred.  Well done, Mr. Whitlow!

            However, once my emotions were satisfied with what my mind had anticipated, something strange happened to me; upon reflection, I preferred the original ending above the one I had expected.  Though sadder and less anticipated, there was something very right and soul-satisfying about the original version.

            I have an idea that if we could write our own endings to the various circumstances in which we find ourselves, we might often be disappointed by the results.  I can look back over times in my life when I am thankful things did not work out the way I had hoped, or as country singer Garth Brooks refers to those times, “Unanswered Prayers.”

            My personal faith trusts the sovereignty of the living, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, infinite God who demonstrates His love for me in a personal relationship through Jesus Christ and the constantly abiding presence of His Holy Spirit.  What that means in the context of these thoughts is that I am not responsible for writing the endings in my life story.   My preferred endings might make me “feel” better, but they are not always the best for me when all the pieces of my life are put together.  I am thankful that things don’t always work out the way I had planned or hoped.  Since He has become the author of my life, I know it all will make perfect sense in the end.

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