Game On

When you consider the end of a movie I mean the final scenes; just how much impact do they have on your “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down”. You’re paying 10 bucks for this experience and you want something to linger in those wistful places of your memory, something that will either strike the chords of “freedom!” as the tortured William Wallace bellows out or the hands upon the wheat fields as Maximus Decimus Meridius walks through the golden heads of grain to greet his family as the sirens song whispers her ode to honor a warriors triumph. It could be Tom Hanks dog tugging on his coat as he finally kisses the shop girl; or, Javert’s exclamation of his attempt “to live his whole life without breaking any rules” in the 1998 version of Les Miserables.  Regardless, if the experience left a lasting impression then it was worth the time and certainly the cost. It would be a great scene in the modern era to see what could be done as it was said of Moses in his final scene:

“Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated”

He must have been some dude; 120 and still going strong in his journey, the guy climbed a mountain to die on its peak in the end, not exactly a life in need of miss hospital corners!

Or of David’s last words to his son.

“I am going the way of all the earth.  Be strong, therefore and show yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep his statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn”

The final scene of Jesus starts like this:

“And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which”, He said, “you heard of from Me”.

In other words, “I’m leaving my MARK on this.

If final scenes are any good, they prompt us to remember the true essence of the story, they bring back lingering thoughts that play again and again like melodies flowing in the background as we piece together what we liked most, remembered most, the simple stuff that we call impressions. The dictionary defines “impressions” as a “mark” that is left on us.

There was a bumper sticker that became popular in the 80’s, “he who dies with the most toys wins!” Why folks garnish their vehicles with bumper stickers is something only Forrest Gump could give true meaning. But, what if he who left the most marks was truly the rightful champion, then we might be on to something?

Final scenes leave impressions, if and only if, the story was good. Born of a virgin, taught in the temple, 40 days and tempted, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, walked on water, calmed the storm, cleared the temple, was praised, betrayed, suffered an unimaginable death, rose from the dead so a man could have a purpose and a hope, he’s called the Lion of the Tribe, the one who fulfills the “Rak CHASAK Amats” – Be Strong and courageous expect victory because I go before you against your enemies. In His final scene He had no toys, not one; but the Apostle John writes these words:

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written”.

Jesus left an impression on John and the other eleven, they went on to leave an impression upon the world about the greatest life ever lived, the greatest final scene ever witnessed, marks, that have transformed men and women across every culture and time, a story beyond all stories.  What a life, what an impression, what a lingering scene that crosses your thoughts about the one they call the Alpha and Omega.  It is “Game On”, he who leaves the most marks wins.  What would Gump say about this, maybe, just maybe he would say- Ain’t it so!

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