In the Pixar movie Up, the story begins as a boy and girl meet and share a scrap book of their adventures. They later marry, still dreaming of exploring new lands. Growing old together, they were never able to actually go overseas and the wife passed away.
Eventually the old widower re-opened the dusty scrap book. At first he feels regretful as he recalled their unfulfilled childhood dreams, but to his surprise, he discovered that his wife had filled the book with memories from their marriage. He realised that although his wife did not have the opportunity to go on exotic adventures, she still enjoyed a life of wonderful experiences with him.
It’s a touching moment, reminding us that our lives are like that scrap book, where there are memories stored and blank pages still to fill.
A person’s life truly is a book. Revelation chapter 20 tells us that at the end of time there will be a great white throne, and all those who have lived will be gathered there before the Lord Jesus, and “the books” will be opened. Verse 12 explains the contents of those books:
“And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.”
Those books are the archives of our lives, with every action recorded accurately in exact detail by the all-knowing God. Even one’s words and thoughts are kept as testimony. *
In the blinding light of God’s perfection, such a book will not be attractive. We are quick to display our strengths and achievements, but we all have secret pages in our life story which, if published, would be horrifying to read. The Lord will judge some more leniently than others **, while holding each person accountable for the life He gave them.
The book of your life will only condemn you, and you cannot rewrite or delete what you have written. Yet God has provided another book: the book of life. This is a different kind of life, with a different author. Jesus is the Author of our faith. He “wrote” this book. On the cross, his blood was shed to cover your sins, so that all who repent and trust in him have their names written in his book of life. They will not face God’s final judgment.
It’s wonderful to be forgiven for your sins — to leave the old life behind you and be part of God’s old-new book. There is no need to live in regret for the past, when you can look to your future in Christ. New adventures await. What will be written in your page today?
Paul Tripp on life’s “little moments”
“You see, you and I don’t live in a series of big, dramatic moments. We don’t careen from big decision to big decision. We all live in an endless series of little moments. The character of a life isn’t set in ten big moments. The character of a life is set in 10,000 little moments of everyday life. It’s the themes of struggles that emerge from those little moments that reveal what’s really going on in our hearts.”
* Matthew 12:37; Luke 8:17 ** Matthew 11:22