One of the keys to finishing well as a disciple and follower of Jesus is to “Stay Focused Until You’re Finished.” (See yesterday’s blog).
One of the great finishers of the Bible was Solomon, King David’s son. In fact, the word finish is connected with Solomon a dozen times, especially with his building of the temple. I made a list of all the references associated with Solomon completing his assignment to build God’s house, and I noticed something that escaped me in all the many time I’ve read the story.
Solomon was not only a finisher, he was a total, complete, absolute finisher. Notice the inclusion of the word all in the phrases used the describe Solomon:
- “He had finished all the temple” (1 Kings 6:22)
- “The house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans” (1 Kings 6:38)
- “So all the work that King Solomon had done for the house of the Lord was finished” (1 Kings 7:51)
- “So all the work that Solomon had done for the house of the Lord was finished” (2 Chronicles 5:1)
- “Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 7:11)
When it came to building God’s temple in Jerusalem, Solomon finished it all. He left nothing undone. Perhaps that’s because his father, King David, challenged him in 1 Chronicles 28:20: “Be strong and of good courage, and do it: do not fear or be dismayed, for the Lord God — my God — will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.”
Most of us underestimate the difficult challenge of finishing. We tend to start strong and then stay strong throughout most of the task until we are close to finishing. Then we seem to put less effort into that last dash across the finish line. Maybe it’s because we feel like we are finished and only need to go through the motions to really complete it. Maybe the novelty or newness has worn off and now it is just a consistent one step in front of the other which tends to become mundane, even boring, and we lose our enthusiasm. Maybe we have proved to ourself that we can do it – even though it is yet to be finished — and so simply lose the motivation to finish what we started.
Here is what I know: You’re not finished until you’re finished. You’re not done until you’re done. Therefore stay focused and engaged all the way through, because it isn’t over until it’s over. Stay focused. Keep your eyes on the goal. Run through the finish tape and then celebrate. The apostle Paul said in his final letter: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)
Let’s all run our individual races well. But remember, we are also to finish well… So, stay focused until you’re finished.