Twenty-seven years is a long time to work toward something. I have been running hard, with my mind set on the finish-line at the end of one particular race for more than half my life! But as the ribbon is coming into focus, I see movement there. Are they moving the finish-line? Can they do that? Will God allow it? As I prayed it over, I couldn’t shake a feeling of déjà vu.
I looked back in some files and found the following, which I wrote in 2012. (Note the photo of my now-almost-21-year-old-daughter, in blue, about to win her 5th grade track meet.) You know that feeling when someone uses your own words against you? Yeah, well, that is how I felt reading this. Finish-line déjà vu, indeed!
Victory! Conquered! Completed! I am a finish-line type of girl! I love the sense of accomplishment and the adrenaline rush at the finish-line of a race, a project or a goal. But God has been talking to me about being an achievement junkie… because, while I love triumphing over a “to-do” list, there is always more to do.
Arriving at the end of my “Chronological Bible in a Year reading plan” will not terminate my need for daily Bible reading. Finishing the laundry will not end the accumulation of dirty clothes. Even the glorious salvation of a loved one is only the beginning of the long and beautiful road of discipleship. God is faithfully helping me to realize that the only real finish-line is death, or the rapture (and even that finish-line is really a whole new beginning, but that is another subject for a different time!).
Words like endurance, stamina, strength, fortitude, perseverance, determination, diligence, and resolve are replacing ideas like “end in sight”, “light at the end of the tunnel” and “almost there” in my perspective. I need to be in it for the long haul – however long it will be – and realize that heavy leaning on Jesus is crucial. I don’t have the kind of devotion in me to tirelessly persist, but He is tenacious and steadfast and where I am weak, He is strong!
I knew it back then. Déjà vu – I know it now. I certainly can’t blame God for not preparing me in advance when there is evidence like this to prove that He has been teaching me this vital lesson for years.
My finish-line is not being moved. I am looking at the wrong ribbon. The one I need to be focused on is stretched across the edge of eternity’s shore. I’ll be finished when I arrive there, not before.
I’m so thankful for this finish-line déjà vu. And I’m so appreciative for your visit here on the Back Porch. I wonder… are any of you feeling tired and spent, but not yet done? We have Living Water available to us, for this race, through Jesus (John 4:10-14). I am pouring myself a big, tall glass. May I offer you one?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”Hebrews 12:1-3