The Final Scene

Begin with the end in mind.
— Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Vacations are great . . . and not so great. Having returned from a few thousand miles of back roads and small towns I settled into my daily rhythm of Bible and quiet. I eased into my familiar chair, opened the good book to Psalm 46, and let the truth of God's Word wash over my soul.

The psalmist begins with familiar words, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea."

Those words have comforted and encouraged saints through the centuries. Martin Luther, for example, found solace here. His hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" was based on this psalm.

On this day I was walking in Luther's steps. Putting pen to paper I wrote in my journal:

"Returning from the Hot Rod Power Tour to a home full of people (and gladly so) plus reentering the atmosphere of SRC has meant full days and little downtime. Gladly, today is primarily free for message prep. 'Lord, please give me your word for today.'"

God did just that. As I read Psalm 46, he put two verses front-and-center:

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
— Psalm 46:6

Psalm 46 is attributed to the Sons of Korah. These brothers from a distant past remind me that God's is the overriding voice. Others speak and kick up dust. God speaks and the earth melts. Not only does God have the final word, he also owns the final scene:

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
— Psalm 46:10

We live in a beautiful, but scarred world. Incessant news breaks remind us of the fissures and fractures in the human condition. Trending news stories tell us the world is running from God, not to him. At times it is discouraging and disheartening. We cry, "God, where are you?" Depression departs as we stop to watch the final scene. The psalmist gives it to us: God large and in charge.

We need to fix our eyes on that scene.

Stephen Covey was a principle-centered man. His adage, "Begin with the end in mind" was directed toward personal productivity. I must start life's journey with a view to where I want to end. This is important and true, but Psalm 46 changes my perspective. The Sons of Korah point me to a more distant horizon than my own hopes and dreams. They remind me that God has the final word in the last scene.

This is both comfort and a wake-up call. I need both as I begin my week.