They do not know what the future holds, and no one can tell them what will happen. No one can control the wind or stop his own death. (Ecclesiastes 8:7-8)
I don’t know when the finish line will be underneath my feet, and it really shouldn’t matter. After all, if I believe it is “someday,” I put off finishing well, because I can rationalize I’m not really in the finishing phase of life.
Finishing well is about living well.
It’s about doing the best thing today, right now. It’s about not getting upset about what I’ve done that I wish I hadn’t or wish I hadn’t done that I had. It’s learning how the past has impacted my present, then moving into the future. God knows it all. He knows how it all weaves together. I don’t. I can try to understand it, and at times, it might make sense, but there are still missing pieces. There is still the un-understandable, and many times, it’s God’s grace that allows us to continue without full understanding.
Finishing well begins with living well.
Every step of the journey is important. Of course, I get distracted. I whine. I sit beside my path and mope or complain. I watch someone else’s journey and think it looks so much more appealing…and do-able. Or I celebrate too early and then lose momentum.
But I want to finish well.
I want to live a life today that is worthy of being the foundation of tomorrow. I want to be where I’m supposed to be today so I can make it to where I’m supposed to be tomorrow. I want to plant and tend the seeds of relationships today so I can continue to cultivate and harvest tomorrow. I want to stretch the spiritual muscles today that I will need to use tomorrow.
I can’t plan to finish well, because I can be wrong about the timing of finishing well. But I can finish well by living well today, right now. I want to notice people around me. I want to be respectful and authentic. I want to be patient and loving. I want to strive for peace, which will sometimes involve uncomfortable confrontation.
I know living well involves all these things and much more because living well isn’t about what I’ve personally determined to be living well. If I’m going to finish well in the life God creates, guides, and intends for me, I must know, trust, and follow his lead. Living well isn’t about deciding what living well involves. It’s not about living by my own standards; my own standards shift, and it’s not all that difficult to live by them. Living well includes becoming more like God, relying on him through the process.
Finishing well is living well. And living well is living faith out loud…right now. It’s giving everything of me, including my weaknesses, concerns, questions, and doubts. It’s trusting God with all of me.
Today, right now, I will live well. Will you?
I ask only one thing from the Lord. This is what I want: Let me live in the Lord’s house all my life. Let me see the Lord’s beauty and look with my own eyes at his Temple. (Psalm 27:4)