(a continuation of my 12/29/18 WOY post)
In retrospect, I see that the phrase “finish well” had been popping into my mind for months, long before I ever consciously began trying to discern my 2019 Word-of-the-Year. Finish Well had become a theme running through much of what I was seeing, hearing, reading and thinking about in relation to my own future.
I’ve come to know that God rarely speaks to us in a voice thundering down from heaven. Instead, He whispers to our hearts—always through Scripture when we take time to meditate on it, but often in other ways as well. I hear God speaking to me in music, in nature, through “coincidental” (wink wink) circumstances and through other people.
So when I received an email on November 24th from a friend with a song attached that she said made her think of me, I paid attention. Because that newish song was one that I’d been playing over and over, praying that I would someday hear the words being sung coming straight to me from God Himself:
Well done, well done, my good and faithful one
Welcome to the place where you belong….
And then on December 10th, as I was evaluating and discarding one possible WOY after another, another email came through from another friend with an excerpt from the devotional he was reading:
Be willing to go out on a limb with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the safest place to be. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of unbelief. Your longing to live close to Me is at odds with your attempts to minimize risk. You are approaching a crossroads in your journey. In order to follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your tendency to play it safe. —Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
That passage was as perfect for me in that moment as was the song that tugged at my heart.
I’d been sitting pretty still and playing it very safe throughout much of 2018, and am now indeed approaching a crossroads. My time is up: God does not want me to sit still any longer. In fact, I’d been thinking that perhaps “move” was the word He was giving me for 2019. But that passage from Jesus Calling made me realize that “move” wasn’t big enough.
Matthew 25:23: “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’”
If I’m hoping for a welcome like that one as I enter heaven, I need to do more than simply move.
For me, finishing well means taking a leap of faith. Stretching beyond the easy, stepping outside of my comfort zone. 2019 is to be about being strong and courageous enough to take a risk, to believe that God is who He says He is, and will accomplish in and through me all that He’s promised. I must relinquish my tendency to play it safe and step out on the waves.
I think it’s time to leap.
I looked up my potential 2019 WOY, and found it’s definition right on for finishing well. Because to leap means:
- to jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force
- to make a sudden rush to do something; act eagerly and suddenly
- to accept an opportunity eagerly
- to be conspicuous; stand out
- a sudden, abrupt change or transition
- a daring step or enterprise whose consequences are unpredictable.
It seems to me that to leap is to move with excitement—not looking back, not second-guessing myself or God. It’s the desire to be dead center of His will again, moving with purpose and urgency toward the calling(s) He’s laid on my heart. It’s stepping out of the boat, jumping in with both feet, and trusting that God will take care of the results.
Lord, do I have my WOY right? I think so! Thank You for confirming that I am to leap into and through 2019. With discernment, of course, and listening for Your guidance, not acting impulsively. But also being willing to set aside dead things, even good things, to allow room for Your best to blossom.
So thank You for opening up the right doors and slamming the others shut. I will trust You through every necessary ending and each new beginning. I am ready to go wherever You send me, do whatever You would have me do–all with the knowledge that there’s only so much time left.
Gee, 2019 could be a crazy ride! Thank You for letting me be a part of it. Amen.
Finishing well. That’s my plan for retirement. God had no intention of letting me lie on a beach drinking mojitos and reading trashy novels for the last 20+/- years of this life. So I might as well claim 2019 as the year I will leap.
How about you? The thing is—regardless of your age or health or your retirement package and plans—there’s only so much time left.
Wishing you a New Year filled with the blessings of becoming in 2019.