I was fascinated by it (mostly because I assume it takes courage to tear out a part of your staircase since failure means that no one can reach their bedrooms anymore) but it was also quite obviously not finished yet. I complimented the carpenter wanna-be on his craftsmanship and said how nice I thought it looked and what a good job he'd done and he said something that stuck with me:
"Now I just need to become a good finisher."
I thought about that all evening long. Because it means so much more than just finishing a staircase.
It's so easy to start and not finish something. You start cleaning the garage, and you don't finish. You start a diet, and you don't finish. You start a book, and you don't finish it.
But there are so many important things that we start. Things that the world, foolishly allows anyone of a certain age to begin regardless of their maturity/capabilities, such as marriage, families, dreams.
The first one my mind went to was a burden that I feel that someone should finish their marriage. Counselors, friends, loved ones, all want to tell people easy ways out of things. If you're not happy, obviously God wants you to be happy so leave whatever is making you unhappy. We ignore urgings from those who comforted us with words that say "For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Divorce is unbiblical, yet we refuse to submit to God in anything that goes against our immediate relief struggle. It is such an ugly scar upon America that never should have been permitted in our churches.
The second one that almost immediately came to my mind is that we should finish our children. I am a foster parent, and I had a child in my home that I felt I could not finish. I told the agency he was beyond me, and I listed at least 5 logical reasons why I couldn't continue with him. Rational, logical reasons that no one could/would contend with. And it haunts me. How I wish there had been someone in my life to hold me up, to encourage me in my faith and say NO. You can finish, and you will finish, or you will die trying. I am ashamed that I did not hold myself up to that standard. I'm sick, that exactly what I told his CASA worker would happen in his life, happened exactly as I said it would. Because he was failed. By so many people along the way that did not finish what they began.
I've seen miracles in this fostering business. I've prayed for mothers even as I said "It's impossible" only to have God work miraculously and change lives. I've got one incredible success story out of 8 kiddos that have come through this home. And God may be working a 2nd amazing miracle for the child in my home right now. God still does miracles.
I don't say to die trying because God wants you to be miserable - but I think of all the war heroes that had a mountain they were supposed to conquer and they would conquer it. The battles of our culture today are not flesh and blood, not real life mountains with enemies shooting down on us, but spiritual ones that require us to go through...press on..spend hours in our own "garden" praying for strength because our strength isn't enough to make it.
So when you begin your children, precious little snot-nosed tykes, and those little munchkins turn into weird looking teenagers that don't listen to music you approve of, dress, talk, or act as a respectable and honorable young man/woman should; do not raise your hands and say it's out of your hands. Finish them.
And as I was sitting here writing this, one last thing came to mind -Finish your faith.
The Bible declares God to be the author of our faith and that is true, but while we twiddle our thumbs, watch Big Brother and ponder who is going to win the Amazing Race, we expect God to somehow "Finish us" and we completely ignore the verses all around it.
Run the race, and let Him finish you.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Hebrews 12:1-4