Monday, December 31, 2012

Finishing Well

If you do an internet search on “year in review,” you’ll see some interesting results – everything ranging from the election to crazy celebrity hair styles. I think that looking back and learning from history is a worthwhile exercise, but I’m always amazed at what this world considers newsworthy.

But let’s take a step back and make “year in review” more personal. How was your year? How was my year?

Finishing well has become a focus of mine since one of my college professors first introduced me to the expression. Usually towards to the end of the semester as finals were fast approaching, she would tell us students not just to finish, but to finish well.

There is a difference. Most people can finish something. In college, most of the students stayed with the class to the end. However, when the end of the term neared, it was easy to tell the difference between students who had stayed on top of the coursework and those who were frantically cramming to get a C. The library became an unusually popular place the last week of school.

Yes, finishing is one thing, but how you finish is another matter entirely.

If you finished the year well, congratulations. If you didn’t, take an honest look at your goals and priorities, and evaluate how you can do better next year.

Whether you’re ready to put the year behind you or sad to let it go, the New Year is just a day away. Take your time to reflect; but then, close the chapter and pull out a fresh page.

We can’t rest on laurels. We can’t hide behind the past. We have to look ahead and ask God for the humility, grace and perseverance to meet whatever task He has for us.

The Apostle Paul understood this concept. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 3:13-14.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
So finish well! I'll look forward to seeing you again in 2013.

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