There were ten minutes left in an episode of a favourite TV series, when I was hit with the knowledge that this was the final episode. It became clear that things were shaping in such a way that my favourite character – the protagonist - was leaving the story, and the show.
In dismay, I sat up straighter and put my hands on my head.
I didn’t know!! I didn’t know!!
If I’d known this was the very last episode, I would have prepared myself!
But I didn’t know.
And now there were only 10 minutes left.
I spent those last 10 minutes sadly drinking in EVERY THING. Every last encounter with a friend, the quick but knowing glance over at her love interest, the last words spoken to coworkers, the glint of a tear in her eye as she drove off…
They had all been through so much, facing everyday life, unexpected crises, and learning curves that came along. Together. They had grown close, understood each other’s moods, knew what made each one tick.
And now it was over.
I wanted to continue being a part of their lives. I wanted to go back and appreciate every little look, statement, scene, again.
But alas, it was over.
Odd though it may seem, I remembered that scenario as I was thinking of the disciples watching Jesus be taken up in a cloud. There, where Jesus had led them, on the mount called Olivet.
I wonder … as they were walking to Olivet, did they know? Had they prepared themselves? Were they aware that this was the final episode of Jesus Christ with them on earth?
Luke 24:51 says that while He was blessing them, He parted from them.
While He was blessing them!
This is it?!
I wasn’t ready.
I didn’t know!
These guys had been continuously together for three years. They were friends. Close friends.
They knew who could take a prank and who couldn’t. They knew who would instantly react in a situation, who would sit back and take it all in, and who would joke about it later. They knew to which one to turn, to make the money stretch a little further, and which one could help settle a heated argument between friends.
And though the God parts of Him confused them sometimes, they knew Jesus the man.
They had all been through so much, facing everyday life, unexpected crises, and learning curves that came along. Together.
And just when they thought they had lost their dear Friend and Teacher, here He was in their midst again!
But then, He was really gone.
And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. and as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."
I wonder … were they dismayed, taken off guard, hoping to spend 10 more minutes with Him? 10 minutes to listen for the nuances in His voice, or feel the loving acceptance that His very presence brought? Hoping to catch just one more glimpse of Him, this dear, dear life-changing Friend?
Unlike my TV series, it wasn’t over, and the disciples knew it.
Luke 24: 52 & 53 says that they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple, praising God.
Then came Pentecost when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, this One whom their dear Friend had promised to send.
How they must have welcomed Him!
After spending three years with Jesus, the Christ, how they must have appreciated all of the gifts and characteristics that the Holy Spirit added to their lives.
This is the same Holy Spirit who adds to my life, because I believe in Jesus, the Christ. This One who goes with me through so much, helping me face everyday life, unexpected crises, and steep learning curves that come along. Together.
This One who assures me I am not alone, that Jesus will never leave me. No, this protagonist is not leaving the show.
And I'm reminding myself to appreciate EVERY THING about that.
All above photos courtesy of pixabay.com