I was reading a post over at Jeff Goins outstanding blog. (See the blog roll.)
He was exploring the necessity and value of failure. And it occured to me:
The only difference between a comedy, a tragedy, and an inspirational story is the last scene in the movie.
Consider the story of Joseph. If you ended the story with Joseph in jail, it’d be a tragedy. If you ended it with the scene where he’s messing with his brothers, it’d be a black comedy. If you ended it where the story ends, it’s inspirational.
Or think about Jesus himself. If the scriptures ended with the apostles getting the temple tax out of the gut of a fish, it’d be comedy. If they ended at the crucifiction, it’d be tragedy. But it ends after the reseruction: it’s life-changing.
Our lives are not stories. Except that they are.
And we can end them quite clearly and dramatically through suicide. But we can also engage in psuedocide. (Cool word, huh?) Pseudocide is choosing to end the epic story even if our lives go on. Pseudocide is giving up and giving in.
We can’t extend the story of our lives longer than we’re given. But we can shorten it. Moses could have resisted God’s call to return to Israel. Elijah could have ignored God’s nurturning. Joseph could have stayed in prison.
I am like you. I have these frustrations and these challenges. And so do you. If my story ended today, it would be a tragedy, I think. Maybe yours would be too.
We can choose to end our stories. We can choose for them to be tragedies. But if we don’t, who knows what they might become.