Generally, I don’t want to know how the plot ends. I like to watch the movie, read the book, or see the game and discover the outcome for myself. However, that changes when the conclusion really matters. It’s one thing to enjoy a story as it goes along and quite another to live through the unknown when the outcome seriously makes a difference.
Being a fan of the Texas Rangers, I have been watching the baseball playoffs. On Monday I realized that I didn’t like the television commentators, so I muted the sound and turned on the radio. It was quickly apparent that the radio was ahead of the video feed. I heard what was happening before I could see it. Somehow, that made it less stressful. When the bases were loaded in the bottom of the ninth and we didn’t score, I wasn’t too upset because I already knew what would happen before I saw it. When the bases were loaded again in the eleventh, what I heard told me that we would win with a home run. Great!
The same principle is true of hard circumstances. It’s the time of not-knowing, the period between the initiation and the outcome that is so difficult. Maybe that’s why God gives us advance notice of endings. Does he really do that?