Written by Bethany Lethbridge
It is easy at the beginning of a new year to become excited with setting goals and making plans for the coming year. This is a good thing; it is so important to live with purpose. But how often does our excitement wane when reality sets in, and our good intentions fizzle out when we try to make the change(s) we so earnestly desired? Remember, it is not how you begin that matters the most, but how you finish. Finish well. Live with the end in mind.
In teacher’s college, I was taught to plan using the ‘backwards design.’ Through this approach, I determined what it was that the students needed to learn—to be able to take away from a particular unit—and then I prepared lessons accordingly. Basically, I taught with the end in mind. By doing so, it ensured instructional time was focused and incredibly intentional. Each lesson built off the previous one and all worked towards achieving the end goal. This is how we should live our lives. Everything we do, every decision we make, should be with the end in mind. The things we do, the decisions we make, should glorify God and draw us closer to Him.
When different opportunities arise or distractions creep up, ask yourself, ‘does this contribute to me finishing well or is it a hindrance?’ ‘Will this draw me closer to God or further from Him?’ When we have this discernment, when we are living intentionally with the end in mind, it makes decisions so much easier. Let us be like the wise woman in Proverbs 14:1, ‘The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.’ The choices we make are so important. Let us make the right ones. We cannot do this on our own, in our own strength. And so, as it is written in 1 Chronicles 16:11, ’Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!’ Ask the Lord for direction, for the needed discernment, and He will guide you along the right path.
Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Do not give up. Finish well. Live with the end in mind.
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