Where’s My Continuity?

A few years back…

I read a story about continuity. Science fiction,Continuity I think. Behind the scenes of everyday moments of your life there were people in the background that you never saw. It was their job to make sure the next moment of life had the stage all set for you!

Second by second, they make sure all the props and people are in their assigned position.

There was a director who’s job was “continuity” – in other words, making sure that every scene had all the pieces in place that continued the experience from the prior scene.

It seems like the story had a man looking for his car keys. Who among us has never had this problem? He looked everywhere. All the normal places keys might find themselves in, and the abnormal – like, under the bed (this is where my glasses were this morning!). As the scene progresses, and you become more frantic, the continuity director is yelling at the stage hands to get the keys from the prior scene and put them into the proper location for the current scene.

You’ve been there. You know it.

You look and look… and look some more. Panic, anger, frustration – all the emotions set in. You walk back through the scene of life where you last had them in your hands and you go, step by step, and look for where you may have set them down.

Finally, you declare, “One more time… Start at the beginning. Let’s look one more time.”

Voila! There they are. Right where you expected them to be!

That’s because the continuity director fixed the scene … behind the scenes … and the keys are now in their proper place.

You utter, “I knew I left them here!”

Continuity. Garrison Keillor has a fictional story location, Lake Woebegon, where he recounts the life of his people living on the edge of the prairie in Minnesota. “It’s hard to keep track!” he states. He has been telling these stories for nearly 40 years. “Is it a real place, or did I make it up?” As he recounts the stories of the characters and events he admits it’s hard to keep the continuity between who has done what, where they came from and where they are going. The one constant part of the story is his ending.

“Where all the women are strong, the men are good looking  and the children are above average.”

Continuity. Hollywood would do well to keep a continuity director hired to make sure the story does not have mistakes of continuity. There are mistakes galore in most of their work and it’s fun them and watch them over and over. Jason? Elizabeth? Can I hear an amen!

Continuity. Technology has only one continuity.You may think IBM, PC, Windows, UNIX, Apple, etc., but their only continuity is Binary. On and off. Like a light switch, they all contain micro switches of power charged particles where 8 bits of binary switches make a byte, and this byte stringed with other bytes make a command. This command causes something to happen, whether it’s hardware or software. There is no other continuity as strong as binary.

Continuity. When I awake in the morning, what is the continuity between today and yesterday. The bills are still there. The problems have not magically disappeared. The house is the same, the mess is just like you left it yesterday! The kids are the same as when they laid their heads down in rest.

We are the same yesterday, as we left off yesterday – but we can change and make it better today than it was yesterday!

This morning, as I read and thought about continuity, I realize there is not continuity director in my life. Scenes are not set by someone else, and any mistakes from moment to moment as all my fault. There is no one else to blame. This is probably a hard lesson to learn for most of us. Yet, when we learn them, then we can effect change for the better.

I am reminded in scripture of the constancy of God. In Malachi 3:6, God states, “For I am the LORD, I change not…”. You will find him today as you left him in all of your yesterdays. You will find him tomorrow, just like you know him today. There is no difference with him today as it you experienced him yesterday. In fact, James states, “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:7)

The apostle Paul continues the thought of a never changing God as he writes in –

 Hebrews 13:8 ESV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

His entire school of thought is about the constancy of God. The law is complete in Jesus Christ, the church is opened to the Gentiles, so Paul writes to them connecting the old age with the new age. To the church in Corinth he sums up chapter 13,

1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV (13) So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

But back up to verse 8 and you find the secret of God’s continuity.

1 Corinthians 13:8 ESV Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

Prophecies pass away. Tongues will cease. Knowledge, too, will pass away. Everything has an ending. But not love. Love NEVER ends. It seems like the presentation of Christ in the gospels wraps up with a thought that had a beginning at dawn of creation. God loved so much he made man in his image (Genesis 1:26-27) and gave him dominion and control of the entire creation. Of course, man bungles the job, but God continues his love for his creation down through the ages.

In Jesus we have the perfect expression of his love – holding a love so much that he would die for all.

This is a continuity I can grasp!

There seems to exist a fine line between love and hate, and the ease of moving from love to hate is a rapid descent of emotions. Some line drawn in the sand is abolished and where we once loved with all our heart – we now hate with all our emotions. Heart and emotions. Bring your emotions back into control, then hate falls back to some semblance of love. Maybe not as ardent as it once was, but at least there is a territory where you can come back to a former feeling.

But with God, who never changes, there is not an anger to pull back from when it comes to his love for us.

This is a continuity I can trust!

A youth pastor of my childhood often said this, and I remember it 45 years later.

By a life I did not live
And a dead I did not die
I rest my whole eternity.

 

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