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Topic: Beginnings (05/31/04)
TITLE: Are You Ever Going to Finish This?
By Mary Elder-Criss
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By: Mary Elder-Criss
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question, I’d be one rich lady. If there is such a support group as “Beginner’s Anonymous,” I need to sign up. Quickly. Before I become distracted. I can see my nametag now, “Hi, I’m Mary, and I’m…” Knowing me, my label wouldn’t even be filled out properly. Something would invariably happen to befuddle my good intentions.
I recently decided to hold a yard sale, and began cleaning out closets in preparation. In the process, I came across my craft box, and cringed inwardly upon inspection. Inside I found two half completed cross-stitch projects, three woodcrafts partially painted, a handmade frog puppet sadly missing his eyes, and several Christmas ornaments that were abandoned as too difficult in mid conception.
My twelve year old daughter, who was helping me sort through the craft items, held up a cross stitch picture that was over ¾ of the way complete, and popped the dreaded question. “Mom, are you ever going to finish this?”
Squirming, I elusively answered, “Hmmm…maybe someday honey, when I find the time.”
“I don’t understand you, Mom. You buy all this stuff and say you are going to create them as gifts, and then before one is finished, you begin another one. How come you don’t just stick with one and complete it before you start working on something else?”
“I don’t know, honey, why do I never complete anything? I guess I just lose interest. I’m just not dedicated enough.”
How bad is my affliction? About eight years ago, we decided to redecorate our family room. I got the bright idea to stencil a border around the top of the walls. The room’s color theme was hunter green and barn red, so I visited the local craft shop and found a really neat pattern to apply. My original plan was simply to apply the border to one wall. I finished that wall in record time, and it looked so appealing, I decided to stencil another one. Bad idea. I got about ¼ of that one done before life intruded. Knowing my tendency to leave things uncompleted, I left the painting materials out in plain sight, mistakenly thinking that if I saw them daily, it would inspire me to finish the job. Four years ago, when I redecorated once more, the craft box was discovered under the sofa, paints dried and cracked, the second wall still lacking half of the border.
I am so glad that my Lord is more dependable to finish what He began. In Jeremiah 1:5 it states that before He formed me in my mothers womb, He knew me. Philippians 1:6 tells me that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Thankfully for my sake, Christ is a lot more dedicated to finishing what He began. He does not view me in the same light as my well-intentioned projects. He will not begin a good work in me, and then abandon me. He will not become distracted from the completed project. If I become dormant for too long, and begin to dry out, He will send His refreshing. I am not in danger of being left alone, forgotten, or overlooked, only to be discovered four years later, in a useless state.
Maybe, with His example, I will become more dedicated someday to finish the activities discovered only half completed in my craft box. I don’t know. They are begun with all good intentions. However, there is one project that I can count on to be accomplished. Under the subjection of my Master’s hand, the half-completed design that is my life, will one day be a worthy reflection of Him, the Artist. He will finish what He started. He is the Author and Finisher of my Faith.