A new beginning. A fresh start. A clean slate.
Have you ever noticed how so many people get fired up about New Years resolutions? For the first few weeks following that epic 10 second countdown, the gyms are filled, healthy habits are started and new ventures are begun. The excitement of a new start is exhilarating. The idea of bettering yourself is empowering.
I ashamedly admit that I am one of “those” people. I get hyped for oh, about 2 weeks and then…life. Life doesn’t suddenly look better or the transformation doesn’t happen overnight (or at least within 2 weeks), so my full-forced run becomes a sloppy jog. And then it looks like a slow walk (kind of like that picture of Bigfoot swinging his arms through the woods. You know the one.) Until…I throw my hands in the air, fall face first on the floor and give up.
Quick side note: I’m using a running analogy here, but I am not a runner. At all. The only way I will run by choice is either a) a bear is literally chasing me, or b) some yells “free coffee!” And even then, I’d ask what size the coffee is.
How many projects have I started but quit? How many friendships have I made but didn’t invest enough energy into? How many times have I vowed to myself that I would do better, work harder, push myself, step out of my comfort zone…but then didn’t?
Too many times to count.
It’s easy to get caught back up in the rhythm of my day to day routine. And when I do, the spectacular firework emotions that got me started, begin to fade. No longer are emotions enough to propel me towards my goal.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve really been drawn to the people around me who finish things well. Because the way I see it, when it comes to starting well or finishing well, finishing well is by far the harder of the two. Generally speaking.
Emotion doesn’t carry me very far. Discipline drives me further than I ever thought I could go. Discipline will help me finish well.
There are even some things, some goals, that for years I thought I simply failed at. But I’m reevaluating that perspective. Some of those things I didn’t fail at, I gave up. Why not pick up those things and start running with them again? It’s a lot harder to live with the regret of giving up than it is to pick up that heavy thing, throw it over your shoulder and starting walking towards the finish line with it.
It’s easy to say, I want to live life well. But it takes discipline and endurance to make all the little decisions that will add up to create a life lived well. Oh, I long for that.
So that’s my heart focus right now – finishing well. Maybe you have something that you’re trying to finish well. Maybe it takes all your energy to simply finish a little piece of the big picture. Well those little pieces add up. Maybe there’s something that you thought you failed at, but maybe…just maybe…you didn’t fail…you gave up. You can do it. So let’s do it.
Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out. Ecclesiastes 7:8 (MSG)
Lord, help us to finish well today. Help us to keep moving, even when the emotional motivation is gone. Help us to finish the little things. Because they add up. Help us to finish the big things. Because they take so much discipline. Thank you, Father.