Finishing Well Is Hard!

Finishing well is hard!

I don’t always know when the end is near. It catches me off guard. My defenses low. My vulnerability revealed. Depending on the severity or the intensity of an ending, it can be traumatic and painful for me. I understand why people rip their garments, drop to their knees and throw dirt into the air. I can identify with the agony of the end. I’ve been that person whose hot unending tears stream down my saturated face. I've called out to the sky, my hands gripped in tightly held fists, gurgling the primordial scream, “why?” 

Sometimes, I know the end is near. I’ve had time to prepare. I could see it coming like the train on the proverbial tracks. Over the years, I learned to anticipate finishing well by dealing with what accompanies the end. Waves of nostalgia wash over me or sometimes heart-felt sentiments roll through me like a spring thunder storm. That’s the healthy way. But, I’ve also learned how to dodge it all. Ignore it. Put it on the shelf and deal with it later. Dangerous, I know, but I try to be honest with you when I write these blogs. 

I noticed something about myself. I agonize about not having enough time for all the wrong reasons. I often feel the heavy weight of my own limitations like a stone in my gut. I feel like I don’t have enough time to do all the things I need to do. Oddly, I noticed that when something is over, I declare the same ironic truth: I didn’t have enough time

I have a deep commitment in the pit of my soul to finish well. Maybe it’s a blessing. Maybe it’s a curse. I judge others by my lofty standard because I feel like finishing well reveals who we really are—our truthful character. For me, finishing well is the true revelation of our intent, our gratitude and our submission. Anyone can be a great starter. Everyone loves the beginning: puppies, kittens, babies, new beginnings, new jobs, new shoes, new car smell. But, finishing well requires us to make a commitment to carry out the mission regardless of the pain, suffering or loneliness we may recognize as companions along the way to the end. Few people hang around afterward. It’s just so…depressing.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end. Some believe Jesus knew everything before it happened and went through the events of Holy Week as a triumphant, omnipotent, omnipresent God. Others deny that claim citing Jesus isn’t a fortune teller. He may have known the plan but he had a choice. Each of the participants had a choice. Each step Jesus took, from entering into Jerusalem on a donkey to leaving the tomb once and for all, was a choice to finish well. 

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 NIV

Pastor Jen