Lines are everywhere. We stand in checkout lines. I don’t like those. There are lines people shouldn’t cross but do. Not a fan of those either. Laugh lines sound good, until you realize it’s a fancy word for wrinkles. Then, not so much. But not all lines are bad. Some are enjoyable.
Movie lines are quoted. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” (Ok, that one’s quoted a lot, but is there ever a situation where it actually fits? I don’t think so.) There are pick-up lines. Most are cheesy, but they can provide a little laughter when they aren’t directed at you. Personally, I don’t think there is anything better than a great first line to a book that draws you in immediately.
“Devin Bressard scarcely blinked when Grace tossed her sweet tea in his face.” That’s how Kristen Heitzmann’s book, Told You So, begins. It sets the stage for author Grace Evangeline, the story’s larger than life main character. It also clues fans of Heitzmann’s books into the fact that this story is a departure from her usual tone and style. At first, it seems like Grace is a bit of fluff. The predicaments she finds herself in are of her own making. She seems like a living caricature of her characters. But there is more to Grace than that, as Devin soon finds. As the story progresses and their relationship grows, readers find unexpected depth and realness in the characters and the story. We are left with the understanding that even for believers, life is messy and hard. We make mistakes, but God can take our failures and redeem them for His glory. And it all starts with a great first line.
I love a well-written first line, but stories also have a final line. Our life stories are no different, and the line at the end of our lives is important. Consider the kings of the Old Testament. At the end of their reigns, there is a line. A lot end with the decree “he did evil in the sight of the Lord”. But there are those who lived in ways that allowed the writer to say, “he did right in the sight of the Lord all his days”. We know they failed. Even David, a man who’s epithet is that he is a man after God’s own heart, failed miserably. But their hearts were loyal to God. Their desires were to be men of God. This allowed their final lines to focus on the fact that they did right in God’s sight.
We have only one story. It will take many twists and turns. We will make mistakes and sin, but that doesn’t have to define our lives. Hopefully, our faith continues to grow and develop. Every moment can teach us how to be people who will be remembered for doing right in the sight of the Lord all our days.
I want to hear “well done, good and faithful servant”. But when people look at my life, what will they see? Will they see someone who loved God with all her heart, mind and soul? Will they see someone who lived the command to love my neighbors as myself? I hope so. What about you? What do you want your life’s final line to say?
By the Book: Think about the things you want people to remember about you. Is your life showing these things? Do people see God through you? Write out a prayer asking God to show you how to be the type of person who does right in His sight.