Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof…” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Our endings say more about us than our beginnings. None of us have any control over how we begin; but the way we end lies squarely on our own shoulders, in one way or another. The caterpillar has a truly humble beginning, yet it’s ending is so brilliant and beautiful that the lowly worm is all but forgotten.

A poor ending is always sad, but if it commenced from a rich beginning, it is especially tragic. Absalom began as the son of a King, but ended hanging from the limb of a tree by the hair of his head; Jephthah started out life as the son of a harlot, an outcast from his father’s home, yet he ended by winning a mighty battle for God and his family. In the end, neither man’s heritage proved to be either an advantage or disadvantage. The former can be wasted, and the latter overcome.

On what, then, does the quality of the ending hinge, if not the beginning? Why, the middle, of course. This is the place of power, the realm of possibility. This is where choices swing the pendulum one way or the other. How many bad choices does it take to determine the ending? No one knows. But certainly, some are more consequential than others; for instance, what one does with God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Those who disavow His Lordship set an irreversible course of destruction.

I would not squelch the prospects of a new beginning and a new year; but as I grow older, I find myself challenged more by the vision of a dazzling finish than the possibility of a series of new beginnings. I do want to grow both Spiritually and intellectually; but I want my short term goals to enrich my one great goal: the approval of God.

Like many of you, I was blessed with a good beginning — a godly beginning; but that isn’t good enough. I am determined that by God’s grace, my ending will be better than my beginning. I know one thing: I’ll be with my Savior, Jesus Christ; and, hey, it doesn’t get any better than that!

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