Monday, April 23, 2012
When You Think It's All Over
Confession: over the past couple of months, I've felt less and less optimistic about my future. In my post-divorce life, I've ardently believed that good things can happen – that God has big plans to redeem all that I've lost. In any case, I've held that it's healthier for my soul to hope and be disappointed than to expect the worst. But with little evidence of progress, I'm getting weary. That's very hard to admit when you've built a new identity on a strong sense of hope. Hello, I named my blog Don't Stop Believing, and I'm running on hope fumes.
I'm still waiting for some definitive sense of purpose to make my life mean something, to make my losses bearable. Something I can look at and say "I am alone for the purpose of doing this important, fulfilling work that God made me specifically to do." Seeing no grand objective to my suffering, or signs of a better future, does not get me excited about life. Instead it gets me reading Ecclesiastes very intently with highlighter in hand. (I'm so thankful that Ecclesiastes is in the Bible, to reassure us that even one of the wisest, most successful people who ever lived sometimes felt that life was pointless.)
But it wasn't anything spiritual that gave me a ray of hope this weekend. Nope. It was movies.
First You've Got Mail (one of my faves) was on TV. I've always related to Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), but I was really struck this time by the scene where she locks up her beloved bookstore for the last time and walks heavy-hearted into the night, feeling "as if a part of me has died… and no one can ever make it right." But she has no idea of the new joy that's about to come into her life. In a matter of days, of course, because everything happens fast in a movie. But it was a little, silly reminder that good things can happen and new chapters can open at any time.
The second thing was even more ambiguous. A song in a commercial merely reminded me of the song in the climactic scene of another of my favorite movies, Fever Pitch (starring my #1 celebrity crush, Jimmy Fallon, and my favorite actress, Drew Barrymore). I'm about to slightly spoil it if you haven't seen it, but at the end of the movie, Jimmy decides to sell the Red Sox season tickets that have been in his family for generations. He and Drew broke up because of his obsession with the team, and now the things that were most important to him have lost their meaning. But just as he's about to sign the tickets over at the game, Drew (who's been trying unsuccessfully to get to him) drops down onto the baseball field and runs across it to stop him. As she runs, with security guards and baseball players in her wake, a chorus plays:
When you think it's all over, it's not over. It's not over.
With just a couple of chords, that whole scene flooded back to me, with that line in neon lights in my mind. I know how "That's deep, man" this all sounds, but immediately, I felt revived, and it's stuck. And I believe God can use anything to send a message.
So… just for today, I'm going to believe again that there could still be great things on the horizon. Or if not, that it will somehow be okay anyway.