The Last Page

Here’s an author’s perspective: We work REALLY hard to tell a story in a certain way–we edit and re-edit and agonize over what parts to tell in what order, because the *way* the story unfolds is integral to the story itself. And the ending–specifically the surprise of the ending–was, for me, the thing I literally worked toward for ten years. It’s like tasting one ingredient of a cake before it’s been mixed with everything else and allowed to cook. If the author wanted you to have that last page information at the beginning of the book, he or she would have set it up that way and told the story as a flashback. Last page readers: I beg you all to cease and desist. Repent, ye!

Andrew Peterson, part of a Facebook thread on reading the last page of a book while in the middle of a book

Dear Andrew,

You’ll be pleased to know that I have repented.

Your reader,
Sally

Mary reading one of Andrew’s books (2016)

It hit me the other day as I refreshed my favorite news site yet again, that my news-junky-ism and my back-of- the-book reading are symptoms of the same problem — a lack of faith in the author or The Author, as the case may be.

This morning as I was praying over the big things happening these days — things over which I have NO control — I was so convicted. 

Do you trust me? God whispered. 

“Yes, God,” I said. “I trust You.”

Wait patiently, He said.

I refreshed the news site a few more times while I waited.

Sally, do you trust me?, He whispered again.

“Yes, God,” I said. “You know that I trust You.”

Wait joyfully, He said.

I tried to focus on happy things while I waited… but the news on the screen caught my eye and my hand wandered over to keyboard so I could hit refresh.

Sally, do you believe me, He whispered a third time, not believe IN Me, but believe ME?

And I was grieved — not at Him, but at myself — because He had to ask me a third time.

I searched my heart before I answered. “Lord, I’m trying,” I said. “It’s just that I NEED to know what’s going to happen. What’s going to happen on January 6? What will happen on January 20? When will COVID be behind us? Just let me know a couple of pages out — I don’t need to see the last page.”

Hush, He said. Live today. Live it well. Tomorrow will be here soon enough.

I’m pretty sure He also added, And stop reading the last page when you’re in the middle of a book.

 

 

3 Comments on “The Last Page

  1. I’m not at all a news junkie. My exposure to news is confined to two newspapers a day. It gives a needed distance that television and other mediums cannot.

  2. I loved this. And I’m with you on the Jan 6 thing and I can’t seem to fully exhale ’til the 20th — and the “news” both hurts and helps the whole way. (But only once did I go to a book’s last chapter — I’d already lost too much of me!)
    His questions to you are worth me re-reading them again, now..

  3. Pingback: Mid-way Through East of Eden – Hot Dogs and Marmalade

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