How do you pick up the pieces of something you’ve let drop by the way side? How do you begin anew something that should have never grown cold or stale? As I sit here determined to provide at a bare minimum a weekly update of ministry with a Marine Infantry unit, I’m reminded at one of my greatest failings – I’m not a finisher. I typically start very strong, passionate at the prospect of great things, but with time the object of my desire becomes normal. No longer new, it ceases to grab and hold my attention.
I think ministry is a lot like that, if not life in general. We start out with a bang, but slowly fizzle.
Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 4:7 to finish strong. We all can relate to that, in fact, it’s not all that difficult to finish strong in most things in life. I think what really stresses our resolve is the lingering middle, not the beginning or the end but the in-between. I dare say it’s the in-between that often costs us the finish. If we could just nail the mundane tasks that see us through the middle, just find the will within to endure the day-in, day-out routine, discipline ourselves in the mindset that today is the day; I think the finish would come naturally.
The in-between is where men are made. We know them as men by the way they finish, but if they had not disciplined themselves once the newness faded they would never have finished, let alone finished well. I make no claim to having the secret of fire on this one. How do you endure? How do you, as Paul puts it Philippians 3, “press on”? How do we make the in-between new again? My mind runs to passages that talk about the new creature, the newness of life, and the Author of that newness’ own admission in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
May we seek His face and May He in turn, continue to renew us and make this journey in obedience a new thing, fresh and enduring. We must press on because He continues to renew us. May we abide in Him. At first it naturally feels as if all the work rests on our own shoulders, but the more we seek Him daily, the more we begin to understand that it is not us doing the seeking. As the truth is revealed through His spirit, we realize that all along it was Him drawing us to Himself.
Always faithful – the hardest thing to do and the most rewarding journey of all. So I end the best way I know how,