The End of Everything Changes Everything
I was on the edge of my seat. Quite literally. I could feel my heart thumping in my chest and I couldn’t stop fidgeting. I also couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. It was the final and deciding game of the 2022 State of Origin series and Queensland were in front by 4 points with ten minutes left on the clock. The whole game had been an arm-wrestle with neither team really seeming to gain the ascendancy. The whole game I’d been wound tighter than a drum. It wasn’t until Ben Hunt streaked away to score a try with only one minute remaining that I finally relaxed (after jumping off the couch and jumping up and down, of course).
A few days later, I watched the game again (if you didn’t know, I’m a sport’s tragic). This time it was a totally different experience. I was relaxed. I reclined on the couch. I didn’t sweat the mistakes or the marginal decisions. I even enjoyed the previously stressful final 10 minutes. Why? What made the difference? Of course, the answer is simple. I knew how it would end. I knew Ben Hunt’s try was coming. I knew the final whistle would blow and Queensland would be in the lead. Knowing the end changed the experience entirely.
What is true for a game of football is infinitely truer for life. We know how the story of human history ends. The Bible paints a glorious picture of our future in Christ (e.g., Revelation 20–22). It does this not just so that we can dream about what it will be like one day, but so that we can live differently today. So that we can remain faithful today. So that we can “be alert and self-controlled” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). So that we can “always give (ourselves) fully to the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). So that we can “stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24-25). So that we can straighten out our priorities (Matthew 6:19-20), speak peace to our anxious hearts (John 16:33), find hope for our troubled souls (1 Peter 1:3), and experience joy for our downcast spirits (John 15:11). This is true even if there are things happening in the world that don’t give us hope or confidence or peace or joy. We don’t have to sweat it ultimately because we know the full-time score. Knowing the end of everything changes everything.
Perhaps the clearest expression of this reality is found in Philippians 3 when the Apostle Paul writes: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, 14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Jesus has gone before us, has taken hold of us, and now stands ahead of us, urging us onwards and heavenwards. Let’s fix our eyes on him and run with endurance into the glorious future that God has prepared for us.
With you on the journey,