Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The End of a Thing is Better than its Beginning
Scripture: Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecclesiastes 7:8
Observation: Solomon observes that even in a world of vanity, wisdom can help us know how to live right. Here, he points out that a goal accomplished is better than setting the goal. When we embark on a goal, a task or project, we are full of hope, full of expectation, full of promises. And sometimes, we can be a little full of pride as well. The arrogance of goals is that we declare what will happen. This is not entirely bad, but can be a necessary side effect of setting objectives. However, when we reach our goal and we look back, we see all the obstacles, all the challenges. We see all the missteps and failures along the way. We see how God time and again had to come through. Looking back, we see God’s hand in it, and how big his part truly was. Being patient in spirit, not giving up, clinging to God, gets us to the end of a matter, where pride melts in the face of God’s involvement.
So in the setting of the goal, there can be some pride in our spirit. But how much better is the end of the matter, where our patience has helped us see God as the true accomplisher of our purpose.
Application: Right now, I am facing something in my life. A challenge unlike any I have faced. I have some directions and some tools and some goals. But I also have some doubts and concerns. I am clinging to the hope that the end of a thing is better than the beginning of it. That God will step in and change direction and the second half of this thing will be so much better than the first. I hope and pray today that is true. As for me, I want to be patient. I want to keep working for the end of the thing.
Prayer: God, I give this thing to you. You alone can accomplish it. Having tools and techniques make me feel better, make me feel I can effect it, but I lay down that pride and trust your heart in the matter. Help me to be faithful in this, and patient, which is a fruit of your Spirit. I trust your end in this.