There are seven basic stories.
Every writing class I had, from college to grad school, I found at least one professor stating that old line. Seven stories told over and over. Our only hope, as writers, was to put our own spin on them. In On Writing, Stephen King says we develop a style as we read. The end result is a mashup of our favorite authors combining to a unique voice.
This may be true in writing but it is not true in life.
We must never lose sight of the New.
In Mark Batterson’s book, If, he recounts a moment that set his foundation for ministry in the years to come. At a conference he had attended, the speaker said:
There are ways of doing church that has not been thought of yet.
The New is the line between fear and faith, sorrow and hope, doubt and assurance. It is the difference between the end and the _nd.
The New is the mystery.
I believe there are stories yet to be written, worship songs that will ignite a fire all across the world, ministries and charities that will change lives and provide for families. I believe there are ways of church waiting to be discovered, ways of worship only found in our dreams.
Your story is not over. The _nd is not complete. Change is one choice at a time. One shift from if only to what if. One phone call, cup of coffee, meeting with a friend and plan with a spouse. One jog around the block, lifting of the dusty weight set, breaking out the easel and paints from college and opening your creative eye. It is the first choice against the addiction, depression, stress and sorrow.
There is another side, roads not taken, opportunities that will emerge as 2016 unfolds.
The New is chasing the calling, stepping towards discomfort as God stretches us into new territories of faith and guarding ourselves with the essential promise:
If God is for us, who can be against us?