Sun, 15 May 2016
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. That’s not a biblical verse, but it’s got some truth in it. Just because you start well doesn’t guarantee that you’ll finish well.
Let me tell you about an example that happened earlier this month. The girls’ softball team at Wylie High School in Texas lost the district championship because they did not finish well.
Wylie was playing McKinney North High School, and they were up by two runs in the final inning of the game. There were two outs, but the bases were loaded with McKinney North players, so it was still a precarious situation. A McKinney North player hit the ball to short, and a Wylie player picked it up and fed it to her teammate at second.
Everyone on the Wylie team thought it was a forceout, and so they began throwing gloves and hats and running in to celebrate their championship victory. But what they didn't see was the umpire calling the runner safe at second, meaning they hadn't actually won.
McKinney North players figured out what was up, and they kept running the bases despite the other team acting like they'd won. One Wylie player finally realized what was happening and ran from the celebration to pick up the ball and throw home, but there was no one at home plate to catch the ball.
Wylie players rushed to pick up the gloves they'd thrown and get back in the game, but by that point it was too late. Three runs scored and McKinney North won the game 7-6.
Lesson? Don’t quit. Finish well.
God wants us to finish well. Just because you start well doesn’t guarantee that you’ll finish well. We are going to look at an example of this in the life of King Saul.
If you were to caption the life of Saul in a single verse, what would it be? Some have suggested that it be 1 Samuel 26:21b, “behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.” How did he “play the fool”? He started well. He finished tragically.
My prayer is that God will help us to “finish well”!
Key verse: “. . . behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly” (1 Sam. 26:21b, KJV).