On Cancellations And Endings

A few days ago on my Internet homepage, there was an article about the 90 or so TV shows that were cancelled during 2013.  Out of curiosity, I went through the list.  Since we don’t have cable, and the only “dish” we have is one we eat out of, I hadn’t heard of most of the shows.  There are some shows we follow on Netflix or Hulu, but otherwise we’re pretty much out of it.  Three of the shows we follow were on the list.  I knew about two of them.

What was interesting to me were the comments reacting to the cancellations.  One show apparently was just dropped in the middle of the story and people complained that there was no ending.  They’ll never find out what “happened” to A and B.  When I got home from work last night, my wife told me to hurry because one show we follow was having its finale.  It actually completed the story.  Very satisfying.  Even though we’re several episodes behind on Netflix, we now know that the “story” will end “like it should.”  Silly, isn’t it, to get so wrapped up in artificiality.

The final show of 2013 will happen in three days.  I’m not talking about TV, but about the year itself.  It’ll be time to close the books and start over with new ones.  People will make resolutions.  In the coming year, people will break resolutions.  “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  I’ve only made one resolution over the last several years and that is not to make any resolutions.  It may be a new year, but it’s still the same old me.

There is another “finale” and that comes at the end of life.  And there’s another use of the term “cancelled,” although in this day of e-commerce and direct deposit, it’s probably way out-of-date, and I’m giving away my age.  The younger generations have probably never seen one.  When was the last time you got “cancelled checks” back from your bank or credit union?  

A cancelled check is one that has been paid by the bank to whomever it was written.  It was “cancelled,” that is, marked “paid,” and every month the bank would send the checks that had cleared that month back to the check-writer.  There was more to it than that, but that’s it in a nutshell.  Since it usually took two or three days for the check to “clear,” some people would take advantage of “the float” and write checks and then run to the bank to deposit money so the check wouldn’t bounce, that is, it wouldn’t be rejected by the bank.  Hard to do that when transactions clear electronically.

You couldn’t spend a cancelled check.  It had already been spent.  Very soon, we’ll be done “spending” 2013 and will be issued a new year to spend.   And sooner or later, unless the Lord comes back, we’ll all come to the finale of our lives.  And even if He comes back, that, too, will be a finale.  We can’t “re-spend” 2013.  Except for a few days, it’s already been spent.  And we won’t be able to spend our lives again when they’re “cancelled”.  They will already have been spent.  (If you’ve suffered such a thing recently in your family or among your friends, I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to add to your sorrow.)

How will we spend 2014?  How will we spend the rest of our individual lives?  May the Lord enable us to spend them wisely.