Saturday, June 29, 2013

Have you thought about the finish line?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

TO CHEW ON: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

“Shortly after noon on July 5, 1997, the doctor told me I had cancer,” writes Larry Crabb in the Introduction to his book Soul Talk. He goes on, “My wife and I cried when the doctor left. He had made no promises. We didn’t know if I’d live or die. It takes a while to realize what life is all about. We don’t ask the hard questions until we have to. That day I had to. …The curtains covering my soul fell back and I began to see what was happening inside. When that occurred, the battle began. But it’s also when life began” (Soul Talk, p. 2).

The “curtains covering my soul” got a definite tug in 2006 – the year my mom died. As I made funeral arrangements then cleaned out her apartment and gave away and sold her things, I began to know at a gut level it would be only a matter of time before the person whose heap of stuff needing to be dealt with was me. And I’d better start living more than ever with those hard questions in mind.

Questions like: Have I discovered what I’m here for? Have I made a difference? What will I be remembered for? If I died today, would I have regrets? What would they be?

Paul was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge will give to me on that day.”

What about you? Have you begun asking yourself the hard questions? It’s never too soon to begin, so that you can end like Paul did – with no regrets!

PRAYER: Dear God, please keep the light on inside me. Help me live today with the end in mind. Amen.

MORE: More finish lines
  • Today the church celebrates the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. The liturgy of the day begins with this collect prayer:
"Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you by their martyrdom: Grant that your Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."
  • Every Christmas, Concordia College in Moorhead Minnesota presents a program of choral music. For years they have performed it against the backdrop of a 20 x 60-foot painted Christmas mural reflecting the year's theme. For many of those years David Hetland designed the stunning murals for those concerts, then supervised the volunteers who painted them. In 2006, at the age of only 59, Hetland died – but not without a sense that he had achieved something of significance.
David Hetland talks about his life and work.

A David Hetland mural
  • Gavin MacLeod became famous for playing parts on the Mary Tyler Moore show and the Loveboat series. But now that he’s older, he considers a couple of far less prestigious projects the ones that define what his life is about.
Gavin MacLeod "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry"

If you had to make a 2-minute video like this, what would you say about your life?

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
Bible Drive-Thru

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