A number of years ago I read a book called “Finishing Strong”, written by Steve Farrar. The theme was “it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a great start in the Christian life, or a rough one. It doesn’t matter if you’ve stumbled time and again, or even fallen flat on your face. What matters most in this all-important race of life is how you finish.” I’ve pondered that theme for many years and have tried to focus my life on “finishing strong”…. a lot of progress, but plenty more to go.
With that as a backdrop, I’ve noticed over the last several weeks how my days are often uneven. They are uneven in the sense that while I strive to offer my whole day to the Lord, I continue to carve out a section “just for me”. “This is my time Lord….. Lord you get most of the day, but I’m saving a bit for myself…. it’s exhausting serving you all day and I need some time to serve ME.”
Well, while we need time of rest and recreation and refreshment, even that should be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. God does want us to be refreshed and to take a break. We see in the gospels how Jesus himself took time away and took his apostles away for a break. But the key is that this time should also be directed by God. There’s no time that we should try to “go our own way”, because only in God is our soul at rest.
So, what’s the point Dave? The point is that while I certainly want to finish my life strong, I need to finish each day strong. I need to make sure I end each day strong…in peace and fellowship with the Lord. “I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once for you alone, Lord make me dwell in safety” (Ps. 4:8)
I have a plan for early morning until ~8:00pm each day ….. pretty focused on loving God and my neighbor (not perfect, but pretty good). Yet too often the end of the day is not focused or planned. Now that often is okay and I can find some good things to do…. something innocuous on T.V., a ballgame, maybe cards, a book …… but sometimes it’s just a BLAH. I feel like I’ve wasted my time. Do I really need to listen to another episode of Mountain Men with “Eustice telling us how he’s going to lose his land if he doesn’t kill that snake who ate his chicken”. Auuuuughhhh, I can’t take it.
The point is I need a plan for the last two hours of my day. I need to end my day “in the Lord”. I don’t want to give a lot to the Lord and keep a corner for myself. If God calls me home in my sleep one night, I don’t want my last earthly thought being about Eustice and the Mountain Men.
So I do have some thoughts on finishing each day strong… but I need to ask the Lord what he “thinks about my thoughts”. I’m actually excited about this and hopeful that a better ending to each day will set up a better day tomorrow and a better ending to my life. May we finish each day strong and one day finish our life strong. I’ll keep you posted.
“Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.”(Luke 2:29-32)