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Aimlessly running?

Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Most of us like the 'finishing' better than the 'starting' part. Why? It means we have reached an end and if the starting was hard, the finishing could be a reward of sorts. We view the finish line as somewhat of a relief, while the starting line can be filled with all manner of anxious thought, fears about what isn't known, and hard steps. We might not be ready for the 'starting line' today, but when we 'begin' something with God, we are sure to appreciate the reward at the 'finish line'.

The parts in between the start and the finish are what require us to have patience. Maybe that is why it makes the start so hard for us at times. We don't want the 'middle part' of the journey as much as we want the 'finishing part'. The stuff that happens in the middle part of the journey is what makes the journey worthwhile, though. It isn't just the finish line - because all the stuff we learn along the way is found in the middle part - the finish line just marks the 'reward' of the journey.

Some have said reaching the finish line is good, but it is what we do AFTER we finish that matters more than anything. I would like to challenge that a bit because it is what we do IN the race that matters. The steps we take 'within' the race determine our finish - either with grace and well-being or with unfulfilled dreams and purposes. Steps taken in obedience 'within' the race will not be easy, nor will they be overwhelmingly clear at times. Yet, those steps of obedience will help us finish well.

We aren't always cut out for the race ahead of us, but when we step up to the starting line, we had better be ready for the entirety of the race. A runner prepares for the race. What we do today in terms of our quiet time with Jesus, time in his Word, and moments of contemplating his purposes for our lives can be viewed as our 'preparation time' for the race he calls us to run. Without this all-important preparation, we run without purpose, and aimless running is not a race! Just sayin!


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