One of my favorite genres of fiction is Mystery. I love the whole “something has happened, nobody knows who or how, but one person, through deduction and skill, solves the mystery” formula that is used in almost every story. And yet, as many mystery stories as I have read, most still seem fresh and new.
Why is this? As I’ve reflected on this, staring at my bookshelf with literally hundreds of books and short stories I’ve collected (and still continue to collect), it occurred to me that while each and every book has the same basic premise, it’s the way all the pieces of the story fit together that make each a unique experience.
When I pick up a new mystery that I haven’t read before I find myself eager to discover the intricate web of relationships between the characters… who knows who… who the bad guy is… who the red herring is… who did it… and why… each one a piece of the whole puzzle.
I love trying to put the puzzle together as I read. Sometimes I’m right… but most of the time I’m way off… The author almost always ends up choosing a completely different set of totally viable circumstances that I was not privy to and arrives at an entirely different outcome.
But here’s the kicker… every time I’m wrong, the author’s version is better than mine. Because ultimately, the story is theirs… not mine.
It’s this aspect of anticipation and surprise that keeps me coming back for more.
I find that my life and journey with Jesus is an awful lot like reading a mystery. I spend a significant amount of time trying to put the puzzle pieces of my life together. Trying to figure out where my life is going, why things are or aren’t happening, who this person is to me, why this person did that to me… and on and on. I develop this self-made narrative in my head of how and where I think my life is going to go. Sometimes I’m right… but most of the time I’m way off.
You see, God always ends up orchestrating a completely different set of totally viable circumstances that I was not privy to and arrives at an entirely different outcome.
And here’s the kicker… every time I’m wrong, God’s version is always better than mine. Because ultimately, my life is his… not mine.
It’s this aspect of anticipation and surprise that keeps me following Jesus, the author of me.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
– Psalm 139:13-14
On this journey with you,