April 24, 2015
What a wonderful word.
What a sense of completeness.
What a sense of accomplishment.
When you can say something is finished, there is a sense not only of finality, but of fullness. The highest and best example of the use of this word, which I have been contemplating lately, is this statement: “It is finished“.
Jesus said it as he was breathing His last on the cross. Is there any more profound statement of completion? What more could have been done? Every last iota of his mission was done. Humans try to add to His work. They believe they have to do something else to accomplish their salvation.
No. “It is finished.”
How often do you have such a sense of completion?
For me, it’s not very often.. I like to start projects. I like to start reading books.
But as days ensue, things go unfinished for long periods of time. This creates an underlying sense of restlessness. The nature of my work is such. You never feel finished. Certain events come and go, and are done. but the overall work is never done. This is what we used to say about housewives. “The work of a housewife, or a mother, is never done.”
I understand that feeling. There is always more to do. Tasks call. Responsibilities insist on attention. Lists languish. Ideas simmer on the back burner. Things seem to take too long. Motivation wanes.
Here is a recent example in my life: we have not finished moving into our townhouse. We unloaded a container into this place on the last day of May 2013. We are in, safe, protected, and comfortable. Yet, pictures remain unhung. Furniture remains unbought. Stacks of boxes still hide their contents from our eyes and memories. It feels unsettled. It feels incomplete.
An exception to this scenario is that I have finished more books in the last couple of years than usual. Sometimes I have made the tongue-in-cheek remark: “I wish I could get paid to read and write“. Or “I wish I could live in an upstairs apartment over Barnes & Noble”. I love to read, gain knowledge, broaden understanding, and finish a book.
If this is true, and it is, why do I have a list of unread books, several of which I have read only the first few pages?
Focus is part of the problem.
But when you are interested in 57 things at once, you have trouble keeping the focus in one spot. Add to that the nature of my calling and work, and the issue of not being finished is a continual clamor in the back of my mind.
I increasingly yearn for the day when all things will be fulfilled. All things will be complete. All things will be done. Time will be finished. Can we even begin to grasp that concept?
In the eternal kingdom there will be ongoing life and responsibility. But it will be different then. There will be a sense of completeness that we can only dimly feel now.
There is rest in the fact that Jesus said, “It is finished”. Therein is a settledness that redeems the broken and unfinished areas of life.
How do you deal with lingering “works in progress” in your life?
What gives you a sense of completion?