I suppose it is in all human nature – ok, I am human and it is my nature – to start something new with gusto and zeal and then I get tired, or run down, and I start slipping into my old ways. It is so easy to make plans, to set goals, to gather supplies, and to get started. It’s not in getting started I have a problem; it’s in sticking to that which I start.
So it is with books, crafts, sewing, and other projects I’ve started… I look around and I see dozens of projects started; but the finishing is nowhere in sight. That isn’t good for me, it isn’t good for my sense of accomplishment, and it isn’t good for the clutter levels in our home.
It’s not uncommon for me to have several books going all at the same time because I have started one, saw another with an interesting title, and others were recommended to me; unfortunately I may not make it back to the first book to ever get to “the good part”. You know, life can be that way too! If we don’t stick to what we start, we’ll never get to the good part, or the abundant life, that God wants for us.
Starting may be the most exciting part of any endeavor, but starting is hard work and eats up a lot of resources. It takes time, effort, research, and dollars to start almost anything. Most start-up businesses fail within the first year because people just don’t stick to it; then all the time, money, and effort the owners have poured into are wasted or lost. Sure, I will admit that starting over and over again may result in some great stories and some good experiences; but do does that build character? I don’t think so!
This year I’ve set some goals and desire to establish good habits; but the success isn’t in the setting of goals, or the starting of new habits, it’s in the continuing of those habits in my daily life after they lose the newness and excitement. Indeed, after you’ve done a thing for a while, it may become dull, boring, or routine; but that’s what makes it a habit! Success lies in making the right choices, on a daily basis, to bring those starts to fruition (the good part).
The past is the past, and there’s nothing we can do about the past, right? Well only if it were that simple! Sometimes the past weighs us down, the way we felt, the things we said and did, the way we treated (or mistreated) others; the guilt, bitterness, and resentments we carry forces us to relive the same mistakes over and over again. I have allowed guilt, bitterness, and resentment to stop me in my tracks and I have repeatedly tried to fill the voids in life with things that don’t last. Drugs, alcohol, food, possessions; but, none of them have worked!
God says we can lay aside these weights because Christ has provided a better hope for us. He gives us the power to let go of the “besetting sins” that keep us from living the joyous and abundant life He intended for us. Only the love of God, through Jesus Christ, is lasting; and I want to grab it, and hold on to it, and let it be my anchor.
The book of Hebrews, Chapter 11, often called the Hall of Faith, lists various people in the Bible who suffered real persecution and ridicule, and yet struggled mightily to live a life pleasing to God. I won’t include it here in today’s blog; but read through it when you get a chance. Maybe if we look to them for our examples, we gain learn to depend on God for our strength to handle what comes our way…
Hebrews 12:1 (KVJ) - Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…
My prayer for today... Dear Lord, Thank you for showing me examples of people who REALLY suffered, and still kept their testimonies intact. Were they perfect? No, but they learned from their mistakes and moved forward to serve You and to serve others. Help me find an example in their lives and help me draw my strength from you.