Running late for the show, we still took the time to buy popcorn and drinks. And, large drinks in tow, we definitely had to stop by the ladies’ room before sitting down for a two-hour movie. When we entered the dark theater we assumed the previews would still be rolling.
But we were wrong. Although the movie couldn’t have been in progress for too long, we had definitely missed the beginning of the show. Still, how much difference could a few minutes of scene-setting make in understanding the movie? Right?
And indeed, as the movie progressed and a few gaps in our comprehension surfaced, we were able to fill in those gaps with our imaginations and clues from the rest of the story. We left the theater feeling like we’d seen the whole picture.
And I would have maintained that assumption except a few months later my family wanted to rent the movie my friend and I had watched that day. As I sat on the sofa and watched the beginning minutes of the movie, I realized I had actually missed some key scenes the first time I’d seen it. And by the time the story ended, my appreciation of the movie had grown exponentially. True, I had been able to follow the plot line just fine the first time I saw it in the theater. But this time, after viewing the beginning of the show, the movie had a sweeter feel, a more triumphant ending.
We might like to think that beginnings aren’t really essential to the “rest of the story,” but they are. That’s why we love to hear how married couples met. We women love to tell the stories of birthing or adopting our babies. We listen attentively as our friends tell the stories of their earliest memories, their childhood, their family of origin.
The beginning sets the stage. But it also sets the wheels in motion, determines the direction, establishes the purposes and sets the tone.
The view we gain from correctly understanding our beginning matters, too. So much of how we relate to the world, to other people, and, especially, to God is determined by our understanding of
The View from the Beginning
- There is a God.
- That God created all that is in the world.
- That includes people.
- People are designed in the image or likeness of that God.
- God was pleased with His creation.
- God created the man and woman differently.
- God gave people a purpose and work to do.
- God was good to give people choices.
- Man and woman chose to disobey the God who created them.
- Thus, sin entered the world…and God’s perfect world broke.
- God sought out man and woman after they had sinned.
- There are consequences to sin.
- God loved people enough to keep us from living forever in our sinful condition.
- God initiated a loving and merciful plan to redeem people and restore the world.
- Who is in charge of my world? Not just the big world, but my world?
- How can I have a relationship with the God who created me? Does He want to have a relationship with me?
- What is my purpose in my world? Or at least, where can I discover my purpose?
- What is my role as a woman? Is it really different from that of a man?
- Why do bad things happen to me and my loved ones? Does God even care?