I grabbed my husband’s hand and dragged him through the crowded craft store. Sale-induced hysteria had taken over and women rushed the aisles like dogs let loose at Petco. In the particularly clogged scrapbook aisle, I lost my grip on Dave then turned back to make sure he still followed. He stood, jostled back and forth by the scrap-booking fanatics. Was that fear in his eyes? Sighing, I stomped back, expertly eluding the shoving bodies, and rescued my man. After that, he clung to me more passionately than he had in months.
Dave shuffled. “This is worse than hockey,” he whimpered.
I smiled and batted my eyelashes. “Isn’t it wonderful?”
He rubbed his temple. “Tell me again why we’re here?”
I steered him around the next corner and pointed. “Yarn.”
Yarns of every imaginable color and texture filled three aisles. My heart raced and I trembled with excitement. Grabbing some sparkly, teal “fun fur,” I squealed. “Look at this, honey. I can knit it together with some regular yarn and make a scarf.”
Dave frowned. “A scarf for who?”
“Well, I don’t know. People can always use scarves.”
I picked up some purple yarn and gasped. “Babe, you have got to feel this. It’s so soft!” I rubbed it against Dave’s face.
He rolled his eyes. “Great.”
Fifteen minutes later, our arms were loaded.
“Oh, just one more thing,” I said.
Dave groaned. “What?”
“Knitting needles,” I said, inspecting the selection.
“Wait a minute. I happen to know that you have knitting needles. Lots of knitting needles. Remember the big needle sale? You bought one of every size. Did you lose them?”
Confusion washed over Dave’s features. “Well, then why don’t you just use them?”
My face reddened. “I can’t.”
“You can’t? Why not?”
I gulped. “All those needles are being used.”
“Someone borrowed them?”
“No, I started knitting things and I haven’t finished so those needles have partially knitted things on them.”
Dave’s eyebrows shot up. “Don’t you think you ought to finish what you started?”
“Well…yes.” Suddenly the yarn in my arms didn’t seem so attractive. We put most of it back and left the store with only three new skeins.
Now, my husband isn’t exactly the king of completed projects—I’ve got the partially sheet-rocked hallways to prove it. Still, he had a good point.
I’m wonderful at starting things. Ideas pop from my brain like doughnuts dropping off the belt at a Crispy Cream. I’m always excited to begin, but finishing is a different story. The problem isn’t confined to my knitting. It extends to many areas of my life, including my writing. My computer is stuffed with unfinished documents—stories and articles waiting for endings.
Why is this a problem? With the exception of chocolate chip cookie dough, unfinished things are not useful. Who wants to wear part of a sweater or read half of a novel? Also, it’s wasteful. If I never finish things, I am a bad steward of the time, talents and resources God has given me.
On the flip side, if I follow through, I can bless someone. I can wrap a pretty new scarf around a depressed friend or give a homemade baby blanket to a new mom. If I finish my stories, people may touched or encouraged by reading them. But that won’t happen as long as my knitting projects hide in a bag under my bed and my stories are imprisoned in cyberspace.
Finally, I want to be a finisher because God is. The Bible calls Jesus, “the Author and Finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV) Imagine if God never completed the plan of salvation. If Jesus decided not to go through with the crucifixion, we’d still be lost. Our only hope was that He die on the cross and rise again. I’m so thankful He did.
One of my favorite verses says, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV) As I struggle with sin, my hope comes from knowing that God won’t stop working on me until I am made perfect in Heaven. He won’t stick me under his bed and forget about me or find someone more interesting to work on.
I’ve been focusing on finishing the things I’ve started. Completing a project is satisfying. I find pleasure in finishing because I am made in God’s image. And Dave? He finds pleasure in avoiding trips to the craft store.
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