START, continue, FINISH.

DESTINATION.jpg

START, continue, FINISH.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
— - Hebrews 12:1

Is it me or do we all tend to have a collection full of incomplete tasks, goals, projects, etc that initially we have begun, but quite never continued or even completed? Am I the only one that feels like I start something and do not finish or complete it the way that I would have liked to?  I feel so embarrassed to even write this knowing that I have personally been slacking and have been inconsistent, but this is part of being transparent and is one of the main reasons why I initially launched my site. Why showcase only the good and not the bad? Why give you half of the story? Right? 

Back to my point, it seems like many people are great starters. We are great at beginning tasks, hobbies, projects, goals, etc. We come up with a brilliant idea or solution and we immediately seem to start putting the pieces together and bring the plan to life. In no way am I saying that is a bad thing, but the percentage of people that actually complete the task is very slim. Ask yourself, how many times have I started something that I did not finish? You see, part of the journey does not only consist of beginning, but it is also consists of  continuing and most importantly and probably the most rewarding is finishing. There is a continuation and completion to every dream, goal, task and project. You have to start in order to continue and you have to continue in order to finish. I know I am repeating myself here, but this was an eye opener for me.  

In regards to my life, I am guilty of the lack of continuation, but even more the lack of completion. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I have begun something and did not continue or complete it or even lost motivation to do it. Some things have been less important than others, but nonetheless it has been a constant habit that has left me feeling frustrated. Why? Maybe because of my high standards or expectations or maybe because I am not getting any younger and time is going by so fast. Whatever it may be something has to give, something has to change.  

If you have followed me in my creative journey, I began 2016 with a fire to get back into writing. I felt the desire and push to do it again. Before making this decision to get back to writing it had been over five years from my last article. I had my own blog site and even wrote a few articles that were featured in theworshipcommunity.com, but for some reason I stopped. I am not sure why or what caused me to stop, but I did. So when making the decision to get back to writing again I faced many mental challenges. Thoughts and questions of self doubt creeped on my mind. Thoughts like, you failed once and you are probably going to fail again, what if you aren't consistent with this?  What if your writing is not good? What if you are criticized? All these questions and thoughts paralyzed me for the next few months, but the passion was so strong that I did not let it control my ultimate decision. I began putting all the pieces together for my site on March of 2016. 

On April 19th, 2016 I was getting ready to publish my very first article on my site, but I remember shaking so nervously as I was getting ready to hit that publish button. Upon releasing the article I literally felt a burden lifted off of me and this freedom come over me. It was truly amazing and for the next several months everything was going better than I could have ever imagined. Not only was I consistent with releasing a few articles a month, I was also blessed to be a part of worshipexposed.com. A website dedicated to providing real life content that motivates, inspires and transforms the church through the lens of worship. I was on cloud nine maybe even cloud 10, but suddenly I found myself slowly spiraling downward back to my old habits again.   

Towards the middle of last summer life really began to get busy. From traveling for work to increased responsibilities in ministry to finding out that we were having our third child, my writing began to take a dip and I was so tired I just could not gather any creative juices or even focus enough to write. You would think that with all of these things occurring I would have much to talk about, but with so much going on I did not have the energy to even stay up after my kids went to bed. I am not saying that any of these things were burdens or distractions, but I needed to learn how to disperse my energy and put everything in it's proper place and I was not doing that to the best of my ability.  

For a while I almost wondered if my lack of consistency was due to lack of passion or just simply a result of the current busy season of my life. I asked myself questions like, "how can I really love and enjoy something, but find myself struggling to find time to do it?" I enjoyed writing and I enjoyed all the momentum that was starting with the website, but why was I falling into the pit of inconsistency once again? I was reminded what the Bible says about the power to fight through and continuing to pressing forward, Philippians 3:14 says, "I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." This verse really changed my perspective and helped me understand that consistency is the result of a heart that is connected to God. When you are connected to God that means your relationship is strong and when your relationship is strong the waves of life may come, but  it will not stop you or tear you down. You may fall, but you will get back up again.  

Paul gives us a reminder to "...keep running with endurance..." Believe wholeheartedly in what God has called you to do. Don't let nothing make you doubt or even slow down. I read a great quote that said, “It is not how you start the race or where you are during the race-it is how you cross the finish line that will matter." 

What is God tugging on your heart to start or even continue this year? Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of commitment? Do you have self doubt? Whatever the case may be, remember that God is in the business of restoration. The bible illustrates so beautiful the beauty of restoration and says, "for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes". - Proverbs 24:16. I am also reminded of an amazing quote by Thomas Edison that depicts the importance of continuation and perseverance. He famously said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I don't know about you, but that motivates me to wipe the dust off and keep running the race. It motivates me to get back up again and go after it. 

 

START, continue, FINISH.

 

Reflective Questions: 

What are some goals, desires or dreams that you are feeling the push to start, continue or even finish?  

What is stopping you?  

What will be your plan of action?