Such great heights — finishing what you started

Exodus 39-40

I’ve always been fascinated with huge heights and structures.  When I was about nine years old, I discovered Mt. Everest in one of my encyclopedias, and  I decided to draw a picture of it, complete with the mountain’s height statistic: 29,029 feet. The wonder of colossal anythings on this earth, man-made or otherwise, hasn’t diminished.

As I’ve grown up a little bit and researched some of the more astounding monuments in the world, I discovered many of them required years of labor, huge teams of laborers, and millions of dollars. It’s awesome to envision such impressive projects; it requires a greater mustering of courage to finish.

I completed the book of Moses this morning, which also describes how Moses and the nation of Israel finished the tabernacle. Here are some truths I found out:

Finish what you start. Moses was given a huge project — the amount of time it took for him to complete it is unspecified in the Bible, but you can infer it would have taken years to finish. What if Moses had only gone halfway? Imagine some of the great monuments of the world only half completed (Mt. Rushmore or this awesomeness come to mind). Luke also talks about how embarrassing it is to not properly plan to complete a project, but in the context of completely following Jesus rather than just doing it halfway.

Finish everything as the Lord commands you. We are asked to do all things unto the Lord, not just to gain notoriety.  The ridiculous monstrosity known as Noah’s Ark looked silly to onlookers as Noah put it together, but his labor ultimately resulted in survival. Has the Lord asked you to do something specific? It might be something the whole world needs to see.

Have the proper perspective of finishing. 1 Timothy 4:7 reads, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Every athletic endeavor has required strict training and discipline in order to get there. The road might be rife with pain, but the reward is invaluable and, ultimately, eternal. And recognize that it should never replace glorifying God.

Beyond all of these gaudy projects, Jesus Christ stands out as the ultimate example of finishing.  He saw what was ahead of Him, kept His eyes on the target, and followed through.

There is no question that I fall short of this standard.  But this should never deter us from striving.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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