SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Ecclesiastes 7:8) The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
If you're like me you like to start something new. There is the thrill of beginning a new venture or project. You research it and then you jump right into it and attack it full force. There's a rush. There's an adrenaline. There's a natural high to it. Life was getting drab. A new undertaking was just what you needed. But then the interest diminished. The energy ebbed. The excitement abated. It was too much work. It started costing too much and exacting too much of your time and resources. So you put it off to the side. It went into the place we like to call "maybe later." Or "some other time." It joins the other monuments to our unfinished business. We have them all over. In the garage. Up in the rafters. In the storage shed. In the drawer or closet. In the back of our minds. But they haunt us. Every time we see one it's a reminder of our underachievement. It threatens us and reminds us of our failure to accomplish projects and tasks. But we don't know what else to do. So we keep starting and stopping and collecting more relics to the shrine of good intentions.
The Bible says the end of a thing is better than its beginning. What we need is discipline to walk a project through from start to finish whether we get board or floored. It's that determination to finish what we started out to do no matter what. We are resolved in our minds that this character flaw can be corrected with God's help. It might take a series of small steps. It might take here a little and there a little. But we will celebrate the minor progress points along the way. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. We will learn that it takes being patient in spirit. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22) that is available to us.
There's such a good feeling to reaching a goal and accomplishing a task. (Pro 13:12) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Maybe what we need to do in the first place is count the cost before we go forward on something. (Luke 14:28-30) For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
Perhaps we need to look at all our past projects and give ourselves a little grace to, if possible, start all over from scratch. Toss the projects you know will never be and then tackle the important projects one by one. Make a list of priorities and work them a little at a time. You'll be surprised at the progress you'll make.
If you tend to jump into everything then begin to pray over every decision, small or large. How those small decisions can be massive commitments later! Learn to say no to people and to your own desires. Learn to say yes to the Lord when He tells you to proceed on something or when He says do not go forward.
Unfinished business also may involve people in addition to projects. Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there someone you need to apologize to? Are you avoiding correction because you hate confrontation?
Don't spend your whole life running away from projects and people you need to face. Get some satisfaction in your life by taking care of unfinished business. (Phil 1:6) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.