I am nine weeks away from completing my Master of Arts in Christian Ministry with a focus on discipleship and church ministry. It’s been a long, hard year as I have juggled full-time school with running a ministry (in my first professional ministerial role), taking care of my family, and leading a Bible study. I haven’t had much free time over the last year, and I’m tired. I’m tired of having to say no to invitations … tired of not being able to spend time with cherished friends … tired of always having one more thing to do in order to keep up with all of my responsibilities. I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m having to muster up the energy to dive into two brand new classes one last time. I have 10 classes behind me and two left to go. I want to finish well and am trying to gear myself up to do so.
Paul knew something about finishing well. He used the metaphor of running a race to describe the arduous journey that God led him on:
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” ~ Acts 20:24
As his race went on for many years, it was clearly a marathon, not a sprint. He was not able to pump himself up for a few days or weeks and then celebrate victory. He had to keep running that marathon, even on days when he saw no positive results … when his muscles cramped up … when the finish line was so far beyond the horizon that he questioned whether he would ever reach it. And yet, he finished well. In his letter to Timothy, Paul said,
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” ~ 2 Tim. 4:7
I want to finish well, just as Paul did, and doing so has taken a lot of effort. This Christian journey is not for the faint of heart! In this blog series, we’ll explore aspects of finishing well.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace lying under a gas gauge on empty. Courtesy Bitmoji.]