Ready, Set, Finish!!!

I am a great starter. I am constantly coming up with awesome ideas. Not only am I great at starting things, I am also great at convincing others they should join in on the fun. If being an excellent starter were a spiritual gift, I would definitely be listened in the spiritual gift hall of fame (not that there is one, but if there were I would be in it ☺).

Unfortunately I am a horrible finisher. I come out of the gate like a thoroughbred and cross the finish line like a donkey (if I even cross the finish line). I have to force myself to complete even the simplest tasks, let alone finish big projects. For example, I have a load of clean laundry in the dryer right now. It’s been there for three days. I think about getting it multiple times a day but then I shrug it off.

At work I have to force myself to sit at my desk and complete tasks. I have to keep telling myself to sit still and finish and then I can go talk to someone as a reward. I know it may sound ridiculous, but as the teens say The Struggle is Real…

I am sure many of you can relate on some level. Our attention span is decreasing by the day due to all the stimulation we are bombarded with. In fact, a report came out in 2015 stating that the average attention span for humans has gone from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, which is one second less than a goldfish!

There are other contributing factors to me being finisher-challenged. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age twenty-six so many of my quirks are due to the characteristics that come with that, such as boredom, procrastination, perfectionism, chasing squirrels, etc. I tried medication for it but didn’t like it. I didn’t like it because I love some of my quirks. I am creative, high energy, imaginative, a go-getter and highly entertaining (mainly because you can never be sure what I am about to do next, but it generally involves bursting into song).

Rather than try to eliminate the qualities I don’t like, I have tried to manage them through things such as exercise, diet, sleep, and supplements. I even found a job that has so many random responsibilities that my obsession with multi-tasking and bouncing from one task to another are the exact qualities that have made me successful in my job.

That being said, I would still like to improve my finishing skills. I would like to finish painting my house, finish writing a presentation without having to stop for multiple chocolate breaks, finish cleaning out my junk drawers, and good grief Jennifer, just go get that load of laundry out of the dryer!

In the past I would use scripture to help me work on my finishing skills. I would say things such as “Finish what you started”, and “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race” (2 Corinthians 8:10, 2 Timothy 4:7). These scriptures are great, but the truth is, they only got me temporary results. I still had to hyper focus on the scripture to get things done. I still felt as though I were struggling the entire way through.

I still use scripture to help me with my finishing issues. However, rather than using it as a mantra to get me through, I use it as a refuge. I use it as a source of comfort and peace. I use it as a reminder that God created me and He will see to it that I finish the things He created me to finish.

How do I finish a task?

By 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12-2 NKJV

I also love that He is the Author ☺

Peace, love, and finish line day to you all,

Jen

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Sin Radar

On the way home from the gym this morning I was praying and asking God what I should write about today. I have a million things in my heart and it’s hard for me to know where to start at times.

As I rounded the curve in the road I noticed out of the corner of my eye a sheriff car parked on the opposite side with a radar gun out. Instinctively I looked down to see how fast I was going. It’s not so much that I have a lead foot; it’s just that I wasn’t really paying attention. I was relieved to see I was only going sixty in a fifty-five and I smiled to myself and thought “Ha- you didn’t get me.”

Immediately I felt that still small voice whisper “That’s how many people feel about me.” I felt sad for a moment, as if I could actually feel how the Lord feels about his people having such a wrong perception of him.

It’s true though. I have had many conversations with both Christians and non-Christians that hold a view of God that is contrary to who He is. They picture God on the throne with a sin radar gun just waiting to nail someone. They believe God hands out sin tickets in the form of lack, disease, hardships, and suffering. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I remember a few years ago I had a boss say to me “I have had a horrible morning. I was fighting with Kelly and then on the way here I got a huge rock chip in my windshield. I guess that is what I get for being a jerk. God isn’t going to let me get away with that.” I asked him if he seriously thought God sent the rock chip as punishment for fighting with his wife. He said yes, and he was just thankful it wasn’t a bigger rock.

I tried to tell him he was wrong and that God doesn’t deal with us that way but I could tell he wasn’t buying it. The Truth sounded too good to be true and didn’t make sense to him. It didn’t help that he was raised in a denomination that pretty much taught him things like “You better watch out, God is watching you” and “You get what you deserve.”

It was no surprise to me that he wasn’t living his life for the Lord. Why would he? Why would anyone want to serve a God that might nail them with the sin radar at any moment? After all, we all know how sinful we are- even once we are saved. We still fall short of the glory of God and we still stumble. The last thing we need on top of a failure is a ticket with a huge fine.

The truth is all of our sin tickets and all of the fines that go with them were paid in full at the cross. You may experience natural consequences from your mistakes, but rest assured they are not fines being handed down from God. Jesus was nailed to the cross so that God would no longer need to sit on the throne with his sin radar pointing at us.

God still sits on the throne watching us, but it’s no longer to nail us with a sin ticket. Look at what it says in Psalm 33:13-15, 18-9:

The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.

God knows our hearts. He knows our flaws and our failures. He knew we could never pay the fines for our sins and so he sent his only son to pay the price for us. Now he looks down on us with love and when he sees us he sees the words PAID IN FULL. There is no need to ever hand out another fine.

I pray you let the Truth of Gods grace for you sink deep into your hearts as you come to a deeper understanding of his love for you.

Grace, peace, and a paid in full day to you all,

Jen

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