Finish What You Start

Have you ever started a project and about half -way through (or so) you felt like quitting? Maybe it wasn’t what you really wanted to do after all. Maybe the journey grew boringly tiresome and the thrill was gone. Maybe resounding thoughts of failure crept into your mind and your heart suddenly panicked with paralyzing fear. Whatever the reason, you now find yourself once again tossing your project on topof a heap of collective once good intentions.


How can you break the cycle of a collector and become a faithful finisher? That’s a great question! Many times, we have these amazing ideas and within them we have a vision of what success would look like on us. With that image, we begin to pursue our current desire. However, sometimes that image alone is not strong enough to sustain our interest when the going gets tough or the way grows long or the excitement dims. We need something more than the promise of “success” to help us go the distance. We need “significance”.

Success speaks of what you did and what you accomplished. Significance reveals what you did that empowered others and inspired them. You can be successful without being significant. However, significance resonates with success.


The first marathon Keith and I ran together we trained with a team to help raise money for cancer. Our goal was to make it to the finish line and get the medal so we could say, “We did! We ran our race!” and then move on with life. With Keith being a faster runner and feeling the need for speed, during the race we got separated. I was at the thirteenth mile and was feeling tired and alone. No one was around. Even the spectators on the sidelines were no longer present. They left their signs of encouragement in chairs along the way. I began to feel sorry for myself and started caving into the strong urge to quit. I had come far. I was half-way through. These were thoughts that I used to rationalize my desire to quit. I had run better than some. However, I continued to read the signs and encourage myself to keep going.

At mile marker nineteen I saw Keith laying on the side of the road rolling in pain. His plantar fasciitis had flared up and brought him to a halt. He was ready to give up. I encouraged him to get up and let’s stretch out our sore and weary bodies. Together we continued running and hopping, and well, you get the picture. It was a pitiful yet enduring sight.


Around mile marker twenty- two, the route led us to a small island. There in the middle of the island stood a man with a megaphone. He was shouting, “Thank you, thank you! Thank you for what you are doing. Because of you, because you did not give up, I have a chance to live!” He kept shouting that as we ran around that island. My heart swelled with purpose and significance. I knew that what we were doing was not about Keith and Angela getting a medal but about someone finding a cure for cancer, someone having a chance to keep living, someone to have many more years to enjoy making memories with their beloved family members. What we were doing was significant.


Yes, we finished the race. We were so far behind everyone else, that we were easy to see as we approached the finish line. As we approached those beautiful yellow balloons, we heard the race announcer call out our names, “Keith and Angela Henderson from Goose Creek South Carolina, you just finished the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon!”. That was a great feeling to know we had finished what we had started. However, it was even greater to know that it made a difference in the lives of others.


You have this opportunity to make a difference with this current project. I want to encourage you not to stop. Do not let the fear of failure, the boredom of weariness, or the pain of persevering cause you to miss out on the joy and fulfillment you will experience from not quitting. Many others are counting on your success. Let’s keep growing and going. It’s a good time to be you!

Peace and Joy,


Angela

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