“I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‘Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making His home with men and women! They’re His people, He’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.’…'Look! I’m making everything new.’ “

- Revelation

There is a writing convention called the “obligatory scene."  It is the thing that all of us expect to see at the end of a movie or story.  It is where the hero or the protagonist overcomes every possible obstacle to reach the promised land.

  • It is where Frodo overcomes all the evil forces set against him to save the good people of Middle Earth in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
  • It is where Nemo and his father make it safely back to the reef in “Finding Nemo”.
  • It is where Rocky defeats Apollo Creed and becomes champion of the world.

Can you think of a great movie that doesn’t end with an obligatory scene?  One that sort of leaves you hanging at the end?  Where the hero doesn’t overcome all the obstacles and achieve the desired outcome?

Probably not.  

Those stories and movies leave us unsatisfied and typically don’t find much success.  Heck, we even feel a little cheated when we spend two hours with a character overcoming tragedy and trial to only experience a few minutes of success with them at the end.  We want a little more payoff than that. 

The reason that this idea is so powerful…

The reason that it is part of every great story…

Is because it is part of yours.

Life for us started in the tranquility of a garden.  There was an inciting event where we turned our back on our Father and evil was introduced into our story.  The entire gospel story is a beautiful love story of a loving Father desperately trying to be reconciled to His sons and daughters.  And the culmination of our story is an obligatory scene in eternity.

Because we were created for that inevitability, we all secretly long for that kind of restoration.  We all yearn for a “making all things new” ending to our stories.  Hollywood has totally figured this out.  Every movie trailer introduces us to an inciting event without any clear obligatory ending.  It will cost us $10 and a couple of hours to get that.

And the reason we are willing to spend billions of dollars a year and so much of our time in front of a screen (when virtually nothing else seems to be able to captivate us for more than a few moments) is that we are actually purchasing a foretaste.  We are dipping our toes in the water of the great restoration we all ultimately desire.

If you can tap into this theme in your marketing, you can sell a bunch of stuff.  

If you address this yearning, you can find more of the right people to hire.  

If you scratch this itch with employees, you can help them find powerful engagement and motivation.

This is powerful stuff.  But what if you offered it to others out of nobility?  What if your desire was ultimately about bettering their lives and offering them hope?

The essential step in offering the powerful elixir of restoration with integrity is to experience it for yourself.  To link our lives so closely to the restoration intended for us, that it becomes the inexplicable byproduct of everything we do.  

Because when we drink from the wellspring of life…from living water…we not only experience that restoration now, we are more powerfully capable of sharing that obligatory scene with others.

John Kinsella:  Is this heaven?

Ray Kinsella:  It's Iowa.

John Kinsella:  Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.

Ray Kinsella:  Is there a heaven?

John Kinsella:  Oh yeah. It's the place where dreams come true.

Ray Kinsella:  Maybe this is heaven.

  • Were you aware of the obligatory scene?
  • Can you see how movies and marketers use it to sell things to you?
  • Are you aware of how powerfully it references a deeper yearning in you?
  • How can your understanding of the desire for that help you better meet the needs of family, employees, or customers?