Finish strong everyday

boy running

Yesterday I heard a message on the subject of finishing well – that is persevering in life through trials and tribulations while retaining one’s integrity and remaining true to one’s values.

The Scripture reference is the Apostle Paul’s final letter to his protégé, Timothy.  In this very personal letter, Paul realizes that his time on earth is short, so he communicates the most important lessons to Timothy in this final letter.

I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)

I thoroughly agree with the message that Paul passed to Timothy.  We all need to press on and do what is right – to finish what we set out to do.  We need to be loyal.  We need to have a vision and purpose and stick to it, especially in matters that are truly important.

I am embracing this concept: to look at my endeavors, my priorities, my activities with the big picture in mind.  I have had many false starts and side trips thus far in life.  It is now my intent to finish well over the remaining time I have here on earth, whether it be decades, years, weeks, or days.

It is a big task, and sometimes it appears so big that it becomes overwhelming.  As they say, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.

I would like to bring this desire to finish well under a smaller time frame.

I will focus more on the present – finishing well today.  In reality I have only today to live.  I need to be about making the most of this one day.

I am a morning person.  My highest effectiveness is during the early hours.  When I awake, I like to start my day quickly.  Each day is fresh and exciting.  When the day is new, my mind races and engages and plans out the activities ahead of me.

However, evenings are quite different.  My energy levels wane as the sun sets.  My mind becomes foggy and my eye lids droop.  I am not creative nor engaging nor energetic in the evening hours.  Thus, I generally don’t finish my days as well as I would like.

Here is the lesson or challenge of Paul’s statement above:

How do I finish each day well?  How do I make the best use of the sixteen hours of wake time each day?  How can I approach nighttime and feel that I have finished that individual day well?

We each need to consider this question from the perspective of our own strengths and desires, however here are a few simple pointers that have helped me:

  • Do what is most important first.  Whether you are a morning or evening person, dedicate the time of the day that you are most effective to the most important items in your life.  Don’t be distracted by the fast moving things that don’t matter.
  • Try not to do too much.  A few well-focused activities are better than many poorly executed tasks that leave you exhausted.
  • Remember throughout the day that people are more important than things or achievements.  Be willing to interrupt your agenda to connect with the people who are in your life.
  • Be grateful.  Use the evening hours to be reflective and thankful.  I keep a small notebook near my bed.  Before turning out the lights, I write down a few things that I am thankful for from that day.  It helps me remember that I can finish strong even in small, daily matters.

Our lives are important.  Strive to finish well.  Each day counts, and as we string together a lifetime of good days, we will eventually finish strong.

What do you think?  What can you do to finish well today?

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About John Forrest