Spring – a time of new beginnings. New flowers. New leaves. A fresh burst of energy to get outside and explore after having been pent-up indoors for months on end. A discovery of extra grace and forgiveness for those whose paths cross ours. Baby everything. Fresh air.
So it’s a bit odd that what I find on my heart this afternoon is the urge to encourage you to finish strong. Maybe it’s because my students have said to me one too many times, “But Miss Amy, it’s the end of the year” as an excuse for not doing a lesson, for talking, for being late, for being crazy, for whatever their little heart thinks it can use “almost summer” as an excuse for.
But that’s not what we’re called to do. Sorry. In fact, if anything, it’s now when we are supposed to push harder, faster, better. At least, that’s what I get from Hebrews 12: 1
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and (A)sin which clings so closely, and (B)let us run (C)with endurance the race that is (D)set before us,”
And really, that’s what most Christian adults would tell you to do. Which, to be honest, feels overwhelming and unfair. Don’t they just realize how tired I am? I’ve run the race; I’m almost at the end, I don’t have any more energy. Can’t I just be done? My so-called second wind has come and already gone. And I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as a third wind. There is literally no more strength in me.
But, to use the over-used and so cliché example – that’s not what you do in a race. If you were to stop running right before the end, everyone would think that you’re stupid, or at the very least, have ADHD and saw a squirrel or something. Not good.
In fact, that’s true in school too. When are the hardest, longest tests of the year? That’s right – at the very end of the semester. They’re called finals, and they can affect everything.
So, what do you do when you’re exhausted, and you still have four weeks of school left? Or 100 more meters? Or one more test? Do you take it easy? Do you focus on your exhaustion?
If you do, you’re setting up some sad patterns for life – specifically patterns of not finishing stuff. From what I’ve noticed, those who take it easy at the end of things, have alarming tendencies to not even make it to the end.
My suggestion is to look at the next verse in Hebrews. Look at Hebrews 12:2
“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Okay, this is NOT a guilt trip saying, “well, Jesus endured the cross at the end, and I bet whatever you have to endure is not nearly as bad, so deal with it.” It’s more of a reminder that you’re right. You ARE exhausted. You CAN’T do anything more. God wanted it that way. You need to look to Him for the strength and focus to finish whatever it is you need to finish. And I am NOT saying that He’s going to wave His magic wand and make it easy – because He doesn’t do that. He loves you too much to do that. But, if you ask Him to finish this with you, to work with you through this – He will. He loves coming in and playing the rescuing hero. Just make sure to give Him the glory. No delusions that you did it on your own, okay?
So, push on. Finish that race. Don’t give up on school just yet. Do those last couple classes well. Write that paper to the best of your ability. Enjoy the crazy static energy that is bouncing around inside you, practically making you burst open at the seams. And pray. Pray hard.