Bethany Seventh-day Adventist Church

Charlottesville | VA
The Start vs. The Finish


The Start vs. The Finish
          By: Pastor Nathaniel Drew              

It was a hot August day in Huntsville, Alabama. After packing my things and leaving for college, I was about to enter a new phase in my life. As a result of being a freshman, I was required to show up to school a week early to go through freshman orientation. The week consisted of activities that encouraged us to meet our new classmates, learning the history of our school, getting accustomed to being on the campus, among other things. During one of our orientation meetings, the wife of the schools’ President addressed our freshman class. In the address, she said something that stood out to me. As it pertained to our academic journey, she said, “It’s not so much about how you start, but about how you finish!” In saying this, she wasn’t at all attempting to condone goofing off academically in the beginning, however, in her mind, even though both are important, they’re not equally important. So if she had to choose one, she would hands down choose how you finish as the more important of the two. Academically, her position is debatable, however, that position wouldn’t work at all when it comes to our spiritual lives. It is often said that the most important thing to you is what you first think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing on your mind before you go to bed. Have you ever thought about what consumes your mind in the morning and at night? Is it rolling over and kissing your spouse good morning and goodnight? Is it money that dominates your thought processes? How about those classes that are giving you a hard time. Are they the things that are on your mind when you start and finish your day? Unfortunately for me, so many times, when I wake up to start my day, the first thing that I reach for is my phone. Before I even pray thanking God for another day, my first thought is to check my phone. I mean I’ve got to see who asked to be my friend on Facebook. I have to check and see if anyone liked any of my pictures on Instagram. I’ve got to see if something happened in other peoples’ lives while I was asleep, because I don’t want to miss anything. I’ve got to check my emails and text messages to make sure I’m on top of my business. And if we’re not careful, we can allow all these things to take precedence over spending time with God. It’s easy to say, as Christians, that God is the most important thing to us, but actions speak louder than words. Chances are if God is not on our minds and hearts when we start our day and when we finish our day, He’s not the most important thing to us. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.” It would be wise for us to just stop every now and then, and actually examine what it is that we treasure. Because 10 times out of 10, the things that consume the most of our thoughts, when we start and finish our days, is our treasure. And whatever it is that we treasure, has the loyalty of our hearts as well. For Christians, how we start and how we finish is equally important. May we seek, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to get to a place where Jesus is how we start our days, and Jesus is how we finish our days as well.

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Michael Williams
2015-05-23 3:57 PM

The verse of scripture that came to my mind while reading this was "pray without ceasing". We should daily strive to have an attitude of unceasing prayer.