Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finish Well

One of the lessons (if not the most important one) I'm learning from the death of my father-in-law is the importance of finishing well. Those who knew Bud well were not blind to the obvious blunders and areas in his life where he had fallen short and missed the mark. But, many--far more--beheld a man pressing forward, forgetting what was behind, reaching out for the prize--the upward call of Christ. This was captured poignantly by the dark-haired 6th grade boy who got up to speak at Bud's memorial. Trembling and scared, this little man expressed beautifully the importance Bud's example. He spoke of Mr. Ray's ability to tell the stories of the bible well. In particular, he recalled the story of Easter. Because of Bud's passion for Christ and his commitment to teaching Sunday School week after week, this boy came to Christ and has unlimited potential in the kingdom of God. His testimony obliterates any notion that somehow there is a scale of justice where our sins, our mistakes, the trash of our lives (of Bud's life), are somehow weighed against the trivial "good" things we think we do. If there is such a scale, no one "not even one" would prove righteous. Instead, this boy's testimony reveals what it means--for any of us who call ourselves Christians--to be redeemed. Only Christ can take the trash, the blunders, the mistakes, the missed marks and transform them into something...wonderful. Something purposeful. Something eternal. The sooner we grasp this lesson, the sooner we can all get on with finishing well.
Philippians 3:13

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