New beginnings are exciting, but finishing what you started is even more rewarding. However many people never seem to finish what they began enthusiastically. The Apostle Paul once wrote a church to encourage them to finish what they started. He wrote another church to inquire what had caused them to give up on what they started. It is a common problem in marriages, raising children, spiritual disciplines, business or any other endeavor that people begin. Don’t be hard on yourself when you feel like quitting but take yourself by the scruff of the neck and determine to finish what you started.
One of the secrets to finishing well is to keep imagining what your life will look like when you finished your goal or your race. I often think about what will my marriage look like when Becky and I’ve grown old together. What will the fruit of our ministry as a pastor look like? What will my health look like if I am committed to healthy eating and exercise? What will my relationships look like if I remain a faithful friend?
The vision thing is not nearly as difficult as some people make it. It just takes time to sit down and prayerfully dream and imagine what if! I think it was Robert Kennedy who once said, “Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?” What are you dreaming about? What are you willing to work for that is not existing anywhere but in your faith?
Tonight I prayed with my family, giving thanks to God for things that once were not but today are and for things that still are yet to be that one day soon will appear. There is more to this life of serving Christ than we have experienced yet. It is one of the reasons we pray, “Thy will be done as it is in heaven.” Far too often the will of God is not done on earth as it is in heaven. However if we cooperate with God, dream a dream of faith, and commit to finishing the race, there are things yet to be done on earth that have been settled in heaven.
Don’t make it mystical. Simply be faithful! God is glorified as we finish our lives together in marriage, raising our children, faithfulness in our vocations, shoveling the snow off the driveway or cleaning our home. Faithfulness in reading the Bible, praying, worshipping together in church, encouraging one another and serving our communities is how we successfully see new beginnings through.
“To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations.” (Revelation 2:26, NLT)