The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Beginning from the end

Beginning from the end

I was on my way home from grocery shopping last night (all by myself - Mr. Incredible kept the kids. Thanks, sweetheart! Image) and was listening to the radio. Some guy was preaching, and his message really made me stop and think.

He was talking about the need to begin with the end. At first I was confused, as you probably are, but he went on to say that most of our lives we are living from now to the end. That is NOT the recipe for success. A successful business is successful because it began with a plan to achieve the desired end result. I need to live from/for the end. How do I want to be remembered when I die? I need to live in a manner that will achieve that goal. What do I see my marriage being at the end? Am I even thinking about the end of my marriage, my life, my career, my children's time under my roof, my ... whatever it may be? I must PLAN for the ending that I want and keep that plan in front of me as I live my life. Having a plan will keep me from meandering aimlessly and making choices based on feelings. If I have no plan, I will be much more likely to react than to carefully choose my actions. My judgment and feelings may change from moment to moment. Focusing on a predetermined goal should eliminate the emotion factor.

Some areas that came to my mind were the following:

  1. My marriage - I plan on being married to my darling husband for the remainder of our lives. Keeping that goal in my mind will help me determine my course of action when I am confronted with a situation where I have a choice in the path I take. Longevity in marriage is not achieved with a bitter and critical spirit, hasty and hot temper, sharp tongue, impatience, unforgiveness, or any of the other sins to which I may so easily fall prey. Will my current actions and attitudes get me to my desired destination - a lifetime of loving companionship (not a lifetime of long-suffering!) with my husband?
  2. My children - My desire is that my children be saved while young, live for and love the Lord, marry Christian mates, and raise Godly families to carry on the torch. If I am not actively pursuing that end now, it will never happen, and certainly not by chance! If I am not teaching my children the Bible and, even more importantly, modeling in my life what I want to see in their's, I will reap what I have sown - nothing of eternal value. God, help me carry out this awesome responsibility faithfully!!!
  3. My life - At the end of my journey here, I would like to be remembered for my sweet spirit, kindness, Godliness, honesty, compassion, and all the other wonderful virtues I can call to mind. A life is built one moment at a time. What I am doing now is the foundation for what I will be doing later down the road. The "notes" I practice now are the ones I will be playing in the end. If I were to die right now, how would I be remembered? I don't know how much time I have. I can't afford to be anything other than what I want to be in the end.

All of this reflection came from one point in his sermon. I heard just the beginning of his next point, but to me it was just as thought-provoking. "Don't sacrifice tomorrow today." Wow! I have heard that before, but it really struck me this time.

How often do I do that? So many times, instead of DENYING self I find myself BOWING to self. "I don't want to do that now ... I have a right to act this way because ... Oh, it won't make much difference if I do (or don't do, whichever the case may be) ... He/they make(s) me so mad, I just can't help it when I ... " OUCH! His illustration was that Jesus willingly suffered the pain and shame of the cross because of the glory that awaited at the end. The suffering was no more pleasant for Jesus than it would have been for me; however, His focus was on the end, and He was not willing to "sacrifice the future on the altar of the immediate." I am to follow His example and deem SELF as unworthy to jeopardize the laudable end that is my goal.

Please, Lord, help me to plan for the ending You would have for me, and help me to never sacrifice the future on the altar of the immediate.

photo from