In December I was partially consumed with Christmas movies. As I continued watching them into the new year, I wondered when I became this person. I believe it was during snowy winters in Chicago where my beloved pup and I snuggled on the couch under the covers while frigid winds blew outside. Whenever it was, this is now ME – even though I now live in sunny Florida!
There’s an upside to this time of year when numerous networks dedicate themselves to telling tear-jerking holiday stories: all the happy endings. No matter what crisis occurs about two-thirds of the way through the story, we hang in there because we know there’s a payoff coming. Misunderstandings get cleared up and love is declared. Happily. Ever. After.
Can we apply that pattern to life? Yes it’s a movie arc that someone wrote using a formatted structure. However, would these networks survive each season if the holiday programming were losing money? Probably not.
The growth of this genre suggests that people really aren’t concerned with the fact that most times we can guess how the movies are going to end. For example, we’re not looking for them to come up with one where the prince marries the spoiled duchess rather than the likable barista he bumped into on the sidewalk. Why not? Speaking for myself, I have enough going on every day that I can’t control or predict. So watching predictable tales of happily ever after is a great escape.
That said, there IS an upside to real life and its ebbs and flows. Whether we believe it or not, we control the narrative. Notice I didn’t say that we can dictate outcomes; we can’t. However, we’re in full control of our responses and how we relate to the outcomes. In other words, how we speak about the ups and downs of life shapes not only how others see, but also how we see.
We’ve all been through our share of hardship, but how many times have we damaged the path to tomorrow with words of today? Way too many. We take what we see at face value and begin to speak as if it’s our truth. Instead, it’s up to us to change the narrative and control the commentary. Whether or not things look bleak, we must commit to speak what we desire more than what we see. After all, our future is fixed!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Similar to the writer who knows how the movie will end, God is well aware of how every aspect of our story will go. He knows the end from the beginning. There’s no better way to control the narrative of our lives than to grab hold of the One who knows all things and use His words to speak over every twist and turn we face. Let’s start the year off right. Grab the reins of this new year by learning to control the narrative!