We are like books in many ways--books that everybody who comes in contact with us reads. They might just get a glimpse of one of our chapters but a lot of the time they just see the cover.
And we all have a cover. It might be a pretty cover or a scary one. In fact, there's all kinds of things we do to make our covers look like the image we want to project. And the world encourages us too. Frankly, most anyone can learn how to make a good first impression. There are all kinds of articles about it...from the way you shake a person's hand to the color of tie you should wear. But that's just the cover. What kind of book would you be if you only had a cover?
How many times have you heard the saying that the first impression is the most important one? Well, what do people see in a first impression...the real you and me? No. They see our covers. It takes more time to get to the meaty chapters inside.
Sure, the cover is important but some people spend so much time on the cover, there's very little else worth writing about...like a one-dimensional book, if you will. Maybe all their cover work is about having beautiful muscles and the appearance of strength. Maybe they spend a great part of their time decorating their face and body with makeup and jewelry, tattoos, piercings or altering it with diets and plastic surgery and/or showing it off with expensive clothing or not wearing much clothing at all. For some, it's all about the cover. If the makings of the inside of a book is neglected for just the cover work, the book as a whole will suffer.
I tend to think of my life in sections. There's the lst few chapters that would be about my childhood and growing up--things that scared me, what I did to get a spanking, my mother laughing at me while I sat in the bathtub and sang a song about a girl who wore an "itsy, bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow, polka-dot bikini," my first real heartbreak when my great-grandmother died, lying in the bed while Mamaw told me and my aunt a bedtime story about a scary man who would try to get our big toes and playing in the yard with my brothers at night catching "lightening bugs."
But the next few chapters would take on a more serious tone. In my book there's a story about an unfortunate girl in grade school who most everybody made fun of and how I participated as I weakly obeyed the urging from a group of popular girls I longed to have approval from by handing her a note they had written. I knew what the note said. "Wash your hair. Brush your teeth." I gave it to her anyway.
Besides the stories I would love to foget, there are some wonderful stories ones too. Like the one about my father bringing my first piano home (an old high-top that weighed a ton) in the back of a pick-up truck and wrestling it into my room. Even the story about my little brother getting hit by a car had a great ending. He turned out to be okay after having sustained a concussion and the man who was unable to stop his car in time when a little boy darted out into the street in front of it, brought gifts to my brother on Christmas and at his birthday every year while he was growing up.
We all have those kind of chapters--those that contain good memories and bad. Some people have chapters filled with sorrow. Childhood was not a good time for them.
The pages turn on. Now, in the book I'm the author of, I'm on the back side of fifty staring 60 right in the face. That's a fact that makes me more aware every day of the finiteness of my pages.
And oh, how glad I am for the chapter about my salvation! Anyone reading that section would see a clear difference in my character after I turned my life back over to Jesus. And I would definitely have to give Him the credit for those pages. I'm glad they were written before other chapters came.
Not that every page since then would be about me dotting every "i" or crossing every "t" but even as I thumb back through those pages in my mind, I see where the protagonist has changed so much she seems like a different person. And the fact of the matter is this: She is.
So, as I near the conclusion of this blog, I come to the point where I write about how my book ends but I don't know yet. I might not know until the last second or I might find out that the last chapter is not going to be very much fun to be in.
I haven't taken very good care of my cover. I need to work on that more. And every now and then (more often than I like to admit) I write a paragraph that needs to be reworked or a sentence that needs correction badly. But all in all, I'm hoping for a good ending and this blog called "today" is one I want people to be able to glean something good from. Because when I pen the last chapter of my book and I come to my finis, I want my name to be in that great "Book of Life" where the "Author and Finisher" of my faith, Jesus Christ, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
So, my last question to you is this: How will your book end? I hope it ends well because after all, who wants to read a book with a bad ending?
And that's the view from this catbird seat...