Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#FinishStrong

Ecclesiastes 7:8New International Version (NIV)
The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
    and patience is better than pride.

I stumbled across this verse a few years ago, and really struggled to understand it. The end of a matter is better than the beginning, what...? I'm not sure about that. Shouldn't starting be celebrated more? I mean, it is hard to take on a new hobby. You have to learn everything from scratch! Or what about that new exercise routine you've got for the new year? Getting started in something new is super hard!

As I started questioning and wrestling with this verse, the more and more it began make sense to me.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning.

Or another translation lists it like this:
Finishing is better than starting.
    Patience is better than pride.

Finishing is better than starting. I'm not sure about you, but as a 20-something, I don't know that I've actually "finished" very many things. Or maybe I should say, finished many things of value. This concept that the finish line is so much more special, is a little bit surprising to me.

Except recently.



We bought a short sale home in the summer of 2012 because at that time, homes were in surplus and apartments were scarce. We've always known this was not our dream home (or dream location), so it's always been in the back of our mind to move. Fast forward almost 5 years later, and we've decided this summer is the time to sell.

Boy, let me tell you, finishing is definitely more honorable than starting. These past few weeks have been so mentally tough for me. And that's why Ecclesiastes 7:8 keeps coming to mind. I've made it my personal mantra to #FinishStrong.

The reason it's been so tough is that we've had to finish small projects we either never got to, or finish  items that were incomplete. Touch up paint for scuffs and dents throughout the years. Kitchen backsplash install, that should have been done at the time of countertops two years ago. Replacing the doorbell that stopped working eight months ago. Installing a new bath vessel sink to replace the one that cracked after a year. Caulking. Staining. Cleaning. Replacing. And the list goes on and on. So yes, let me tell you, finishing is better than starting.

These jobs aren't the glamorous ones, like new granite counters. They aren't super fun where we get to work together and have no deadline or timetable. It's been tough. But I know that finishing this house the way we want to, is the honorable way to pass it along for someone else.



And just when I think I'm done, and the finish line is so close, the realtor comes in and talks about staging.

Oy vay! Here we go. But I must remember, finishing is better than starting, and patience is better than pride. God is growing resilience in me, along with patience. I'm becoming stronger than I ever thought I could be, and being given faith each day to accomplish the tasks at hand.

Whatever you're in the midst of, I hope this verse challenges you as well as encourages. Know that whatever God asks of you to stick with and finish to the end, He will give you sufficient energy to complete. His love and energy, and patience never run out.



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