More and more often, I live waiting for projects, trials, seasons, and to-do lists to be finished. I’m plagued by the illusion that contentment comes from completion. Once I hit a particular deadline, or accomplish a particular task, or meet a particular goal, I’ll be ok. I’m only stressed because of what’s unfinished.
But the truth is, for every day we have breath on this earth, our work will always be unfinished.
There is a race to be run and a prize to be sought! If you want the prize, you don’t decide to relax at mile 3, 10, or even 25 of a marathon. You keep pressing on, enduring fatigue, cramps, and blisters and focus on what lies ahead. Even the methods in which you rest and replenish are meant to strengthen you so that you can keep running. You don’t leave the race unfinished.
This is why it’s so dangerous to live in the ever illusive pursuit of finishing. Someday (hopefully) I’ll accomplish my goal to publish my book. But it’s a lie for me to believe that when that no longer looms over my head, it means I can relax. Someday this season of tantrums will be over, but that won’t mean I’m done discipling my kids. Life is a constant carousal of unfinished work.
If we are to serve the Lord faithfully, we need to be comfortable living in the “unfinished.” Otherwise, we’ll keep waiting for that breath of relief and grow discouraged when it never comes, or worse, waste our lives seeking it.
The moment we feel we can check out and relax is the moment we’ve forgotten our mission. Every day we reside on earth is because the Lord isn’t finished His work in us or His work through us. There is always another load of laundry to be folded, another meal to make, another way to give, another person to reach, another opportunity to disciple, another good work to do. But as we diligently race forward, we pass mile markers reminding us that there is a Savior waiting, who already said, “It is finished” so that we might find our completion in Him.