For the past five years or so, I’ve set yearly goals for myself. My goals vary each year. Some goals I hit and other goals get rolled over into the next year.
This year, I decided not to set any new goals because I was falling behind in finishing the ones I already set for myself. I wanted this year to be a year of finishing.
I was told by someone who had a big influence on my life, good and bad, “You never finish anything you start”.
To be honest, it struck a chord with me. I want to be a person that not only starts but finishes. And not just finishes but finishes strong. It is easy to start projects but finishing them takes grit and sheer determination. When you’re half way into your goal and growing weary, it’s easy to think, “Is this really that important?” Or “Why am I doing this again?” That’s when you have to dig deep.
As many of you know, I recently earned my black belt. But, when I was two months away from my test, I struggled to persevere. I was tired. I didn’t feel like I was ever going to become a black belt. The material felt like it only stayed in my short term memory. So, every time I trained I felt like I was starting at square one. It was frustrating and discouraging.
I felt like I hit a wall. I decided to take a moment away from training in order to pin point why I was struggling so much. I wrote down why I wanted my black belt, and why I started in the first place. One of the reasons was to prove to myself that I could finish and finish strong.
Sure enough, when test day came around, I felt ready. Why? because, I pushed through the days I didn’t want to train. I pushed through the excuses. And I pushed through training while fighting off a cold that kept coming back. I realized during those months that the mental battle was harder to overcome than the physical.
I once heard a marathon runner say that in order for him to finish a race, he had to look for outside motivation. Which makes sense why marathoners often raise money for charity. Or, they dedicate their race to a loved one.
As I thought about this I had two verses comes to mind:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
So, here are some points I needed to be reminded of when I’m growing weary and feel like I’m not going to finish my race:
1) I can do all things through Christ.
2) I am only required to run my race — not anyone else’s.
3) I am surrounded and cheered on by a great crowd of witnesses.
4) Jesus is a finisher and teaches His kids to finish through His example.
5) What Jesus has started in me, He will finish it.
So, if you’ve ever been told, “You can’t finish anything”,or maybe you’ve said that to yourself, I want to remind you, in your own strength you will fail and fall short. But we have a Father in heaven who doesn’t let His kids quit. He exemplifies what it means to finish and finish well.
What He started He will finish!