John Ed Mathison headshot

At the bottom tip of England, there is a place called Land’s End. It is west of the English Channel and east of the Celtic Sea. There, you’ll see a sign which has two words on each side. On one side, it says, “The Beginning.” On the other side, it says, “The End.”

It depends on whether you are arriving in England as to whether it’s the beginning or whether you are about to go into the English Channel, where it then reads (referring to the end of England) “The End.” What the sign says depends on which way you are going.

Every day, we read one side of the sign or the other. I talk with people who are on the verge of retiring. They are asking questions about what to do in retirement. I am convinced that retirement can be, for some people, the end, and, for others, the beginning. It depends on what you do with it.

Some people who do not engage productively in life die pretty quickly after they retire because they see it as the end. Conversely, many people discover that retirement can be the beginning of the best days of life. God has immense plans for every person. In retirement, you have more time, resources, and experience than ever before. It ought to be the beginning.

I remember graduating from high school and attending commencement exercises. I always thought that commencement was the end of high school – the accomplishment that you have finished. I quickly learned that commencement really means the beginning, not the end. Finishing high school requirements means that we start on a whole new phase of life. We commence a new beginning.

I see people who get a bad health report and think of it as being the end of their life. They usually don’t live long. Others see it as a beginning of a new phase of witness for Christ. They begin to spend their time more productively. They start doing things they didn’t have time to do when they thought they were healthy. The bad health report is really the beginning.

I have observed people who have had a change in their employment. They have lost their job. Many people see it as the end and just give in and give up. Others see it as the beginning of a new possibility of how God wants to use them. They discover that life is better than ever.

The biggest issue is death. Death is not the end – it’s the beginning. On the cross, Satan put up the sign, “The End”, while Jesus was lifting the sign, “The Beginning.” For a non-believer, death is the end of life. To the believer, it is the beginning of a far more glorious life in eternity!

It is interesting to me that Land’s End is often used to determine distance. Land’s End to John O’Groats in Scotland is 838 miles by road. This is often used to define end-to-end walks and races in the UK. How you read the sign – the beginning or the end – will determine your distance in life!

Which side of the sign are you reading today? The word “beginning” is close to the baseball term “big inning.” I pray the next “inning” of your life will be a “big Inning” – a “beginning.” Read Genesis 1:1.