I’m a good starter. I attribute that to the gift I believe God gave me: I see possibilities. My MBTI personality profile supports this theory. I walk into a room or a work space and immediately start thinking of ways to improve the process. I thrive in work situations where I can think of new ways to do the job. Working this way plays to my strength of starting, but reveals all too quickly my boredom with following through.
While this can be a strength at work, my “gift” has a tendency to make my husband moan and roll his eyes at home. Every now and then I’ll get a creative bug in my bonnet and I’ll start some project. Currently, it’s a cross-stitch I started a few months ago for my brother’s birthday next month. Yes, I am aware how quickly I’m running out of time. I carry it with me everywhere I go just in case I have a few spare minutes to work toward completion. It’s almost done. I just need to bring myself to complete it.
Most of us are good at starting things. How many books have we started but never finished? How many have started college but never completed the degree? How many craft projects sit in bins waiting to be finished? How many diets have we started and given up on?
In his letter to Timothy, Paul declares, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” I believe Paul’s message holds the key to why we tend to give up and not finish what we start. It’s all in the word FIGHT. As soon as the going gets tough, we’re done. This applies to classes, diets, jobs, and relationships. When what we’re doing starts to feel like work, we walk away. When the newness wears off, we lose interest.
I have a friend who has always been an inspiration to me, but I’m not sure she knows how much. She’s a doctor, professor, wife, mother, friend, and sister. Oh, and she’s also a quilter. She crafts the most beautiful quilts. If you’ve ever tried your hand at quilting you know how exacting and exhausting it can be. Her life has been spent on others, in work and “recreation.” There just doesn’t seem to be any quit in her.
As I think through my friends, there are many people who are inspirational. They face down illness, their own and the illnesses of loved ones. They open their homes to troubled children. They pour out their lives in thankless jobs. They stand by discouraged mates and face down their own fears. The list could go on and on.
I love a quote that is attributed to Emily Dickinson: “I dwell in possibilities.” I can relate. But I also want to finish. I want to finish craft projects. I want to finish jobs. I want to go the distance in my relationships. Most of all, I want to finish the race of faith.
So, excuse me while I step away from the computer and pick up my needle. Maybe I can get this cross-stitch done before my brother’s next birthday.