Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NLT)
Finishing is better than starting.
Patience is better than pride.
I’m drawn to Ecclesiastes this morning.
I’m drawn to the cutting. The slicing through. The uncovering.
Endings are better than beginnings.
Sticking to it is better than sticking out.
Staying in. Resisting the internal quit.
Sometimes we don’t quit externally….we stay in the same place geographically or relationally…but we quit internally. We stop sticking and staying and never see the ending God intended.
Why is finishing better than starting?
It takes nothing more than a few goose bumps to start something.
Starting is an idea.
But finishing…finishing is fruition.
Finishing is what happens only after you stick to it…stay all the way in…refuse the internal quit over and over and over.
Think about it…
Marriage, parenting, careers and dreams. They all get their start in a moment of passion, goose-bumps and declarations.
The start of a marriage or a family, a career goal or calling is a long way away from the finish. And often the in-between is so much more than we could have imagined.
But really, life itself is a gift of the middle.
Our start and finish are found in two distinct dates…but our life, the substance of who we became and everything along the way, is what we lived in the middle.
Sticking to it is better than standing out
I think I know why those words struck a chord with me. I’d like to stand out as a great wife and mom (my most important and engulfing roles). I feel the pressure of finishing well long before my finish.
A tightrope walk…precarious.
Sometimes I have my eye too much on the finish, the person I want to have been in the end. Sometimes I need to remember it’s not the standing out, even in my own mind according to my own standard, that matters most.
Sticking to it, finishing, means learning patience and grace.
In the hardest and sweetest ways, we learn to offer who we are over and over and trust that Jesus is in fact doing a fine work within us.
Yes. Patience and grace seem like good friends to me with a common bond.
The amount we extend to others is a reflection of the patience and grace we give ourselves.
You know what I’m especially thankful for?
His patience with me. His grace.
It can sound so religious. So placid. So downright boring. So far away from our reality on the tight-rope.
But see, it’s all that keeps us from falling.