From Start to Finish

Finish: 1.To bring a task or activity to an end. 2.To complete something. 3.To conclude, close, terminate or end. 4.To arrive at or attain the end of something, such as finishing a race.

“Let us not lose heart and become weary and faint in acting nobly and doing good, for in due time and at the proper appointed season we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has started something and not finished it. I could start a list right now of all the things I’ve started over the years and left unfinished. All the projects I’ve thrown myself into, only to give up soon after. The problem is, if I started making a list, I’d probably get half-way through and get side-tracked distracted bored and not finish writing it!!!

I absolutely LOVE starting new things. I love to start reading new books. I love to watch the first episode of a new TV series. I love the challenge of new beginnings. I love new jobs. I love new friendships. I love new music. I love getting things started. But I’m so bad at finishing. I’ve got dozens of books that I haven’t finished. I’ve never watched a TV series for longer than a few episodes. I’ve started diets and not finished them (ok, so everyone has done that!). I’ve started craft projects that have taken up space in my house for months that have been left uncompleted. I’ve got friendships that have turned into acquaintances. I’ve even got a half-written novel on the computer somewhere!

Recently I got into a house painting frenzy and repainted the walls of our family room. I had some leftover paint so I decided to paint the kids bathroom. Unfortunately, I ran out of paint (ok, truthfully I ran out of interest), but rather than go and buy more paint, I just put down my paintbrushes and didn’t finish the job. Not only did I ruin all the paintbrushes, because of course I didn’t finish properly by cleaning the brushes and storing them correctly, but the bathroom was left unfinished. And then I had to pay someone to come and fix up my mess.

I am great at starting things, and really bad at following through. And someone else usually ends up cleaning up my mess. And I don’t really understand why.

In the book I’ve been studying by Glynnis Whitwer (“I Used To Be So Organized”) as part of Melissa Taylor’s online bible study, something she said jumped out at me: “Instead of pushing to complete a task, assignment or project with excellence, I lean toward settling for ‘good enough’.”

I read that and had one of those cartoon-type light-bulb moments. Yes, that’s me! I’m the “it’s good enough” girl. The girl with the “it’ll do” attitude! It’ll be all right! It’s ok. It’s fine. It’s good enough.

Unfortunately, as I have settled for ‘good enough’ so often I have learned to live with mediocrity. And accepting mediocrity is a far cry from where God wants me to be.

So I’m going to make a decision to stop quitting things before I’ve finished them. I am going to do whatever it takes to get the job done. If I start something, I will do what it takes to see it through. I will finish what I start.

How am I going to do this? I’m not entirely sure, but two things occurred to me as I was reading this book.

Firstly, I have to be passionate about what I start doing. Next time, before I say “yes” to starting something new, I need to ask myself if I’m so passionate about the thing I’m about to do that I’m willing to pay the cost and do whatever it takes to work hard and get the job done.

Secondly, I need to recognise and accept that I get bored quickly and easily, so the task I start needs to be something that I can complete in a relatively short period of time. Otherwise I get bored. And I don’t finish. As Glynnis says, if I don’t finish what I start, it will result in “circles of unfulfilled commitments, open loops and shallow relationships” and that’s not good for anyone.

So my goal is to finish well. I want to be like Timothy and get to the end of something I started and say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. I’ve run hard right to the finish line.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Sometimes though, quitting is the only way to finish something! Just a thought!

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2 thoughts on “From Start to Finish

  1. …This, on the day I decided to quit this job….why??
    Never saw you as a “good enough” person…not you at all…example..you studies..you are a hgh achiever..like most mature women and I think you have hit the nail on the head when it comes to a passionate check list. When you are passionate about someting , Ms Nick..you will run it to ground until its done and done extremely well.
    I look forward to reading your Novel when you feel it is time to finish it…and that to me is what its about..timing.

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