One Apostle

If you think you have it tough, read history books.
Bill Maher


One Apostle

Beginnings can be hard. You stand at the bottom and look up, up, up at the face of a cliff and it seems impossible. Most, though, take one step forward. And then another. And next thing you know, you have slices of bacon in the skillet, some eggs spun up in a bowl with a drop or two of Worchester sauce and some grated cheddar cheese to make a nice mini-omelete. A great way to begin your day, perhaps a few slices of orange.

In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That was a big beginning because it was two-beginnings-at-once. One was the very first start; a big bang, kaboom, everything-all-at-once in six days. It was also the beginning of the Bible. A couple of those religious things have been around forever. You don’t see us reading the Incan Bible or the Mayan Bible today. Those guys didn’t have lasting power.

How hard was it for God to get started? We can’t know, we are too small for those ideas. I’d like to say that time for God simply is without any was or will be but I’m a small thinker. Still, y’gotta admit, that was one big Beginning.

Endings can be tough too. Sometimes you just have to call it The End when the reader is gritting his teeth and the writer is determined to get that last little bit in, writing The End ends it all even though you are still wondering what happened to Aunt Becky or that snake that was in the dressing room drawer. The End finishes it. Sometimes it is good to be told that it is over.

Happily Ever After is a dicey ending too. It says that the story is over but it is still going on. A cheap ending because we don’t really know what that means. Does the toast always fall butter-side up? Or are there magical sparkles and butterflies and radiant faces all the day long? How do they sleep with all of that light?

The middle, though, just moves along. Once started it is hard to not keep going. It can twist and turn and circle back on itself as long as it moves; please, it has got to move right along; bacon, then eggs, then oranges. Some of those middles are really long and we need to have the weight of the story to know just how long. We wish life were like that, so we’d know how much more middle we have before we see The End even if it keeps on going after that.

We need a good beginning, even if it is simply a first step. And we have to have an ending, dear lord this can’t go on forever! But the middle is the stuff, the real stuff. Looking over our shoulder to savor the path we took and down the road to where we will be, it is the middle that makes it all worth it.

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