I want to be known as someone who finishes, and who finishes well.
For a simple example, I multi-task quite often, in an attempt to finish my tasks more quickly. While working on my laundry (hanging it to dry or putting it away), I might listen to an audiobook or sermon podcast. My internet browser frequently has tabs for Facebook, Gmail, and at least two other websites open at the same time, while Skype and iTunes are running in the background. My roommate and I read "From Nyet to Da" to each other while preparing or cleaning after dinner.
Many times, I start reading 3 articles at the same time (to clarify, they are in 3 separate tabs). I bounce between them, based on their length and reading level/depth of thought. Within the past year, I have forced myself to FINISH one before starting another, in order to develop better self-discipline.
The following link is a video of a cross-country runner who struggled to finish her race because of severe leg pain. Just before she reached the finish line, she collapsed on the ground. So close! BUT here's the amazing thing -- she pulled herself up and finished the race by crawling.
She couldn't finish the race by simply laying there and wishing herself across the remaining 5 m. Nor did she have the stamina to stand on her legs (by the time she stood up, she might as well have stepped over the finish line). Yet she did the only thing possible at that moment -- crawl.
So many things in life I want to finish, and finish well. First semester for this school year finishes in a couple weeks, and I have a lot of knowledge to pass along to my students. I don't know if I will be here in Ukraine next year (I still need to make my decision), or if I will be back home in MD, or if I will be somewhere else in the US. No matter what it takes, I want to finish things well and make sure things are complete.
A few weeks ago, while attempting to write my personal mission statement, I reread the following verse:
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. (Phil. 1:6, NIV)
I cannot carry ministries on to completion. I cannot follow and guide all of my ministry students (Wolly quizzing or KCA students) through their high school years and daily challenge them in their walk with Christ. I cannot finish the work here in Ukraine.
I cannot complete God's work in me, by my own power. There's no way I can make myself whole, or ensure God-type success in the endeavors God leads my way.
But here's the amazing thing -- whatever it is that GOD has purposed for my life, the life He's given me, HE will complete. What God starts, God finishes. This isn't like my website-hopping -- God will stick with me, walking me through the good times and the bad, the crystal-clear times and the murky uncertain times. Quite often, I muddle through life, trying to figure out the next step, but it's because I want to rely on what I know, what I think is best, what friends or books say, what's familiar or comfortable for me.
If only I could see the big picture of what God's intended for my life, and what the next step is...to find out how to begin...All I can do is simply crawl in the lap of Jesus and trust....this is a lesson that I am constantly relearning.....
Because I'll never hold the picture
Of the whole horizon in my view
Because I'll never rip the night in two
It makes me wonder
Who am I, Who am I, Who am I
And great are you
(Downhere, "Great are You")