I’m glad that the words, “It is finished!” Came out of Jesus mouth, not “I am finished.” I’m all in for small beginnings, incremental progress, and making bold moves, but there’s a valley full of corpses that lies between the two peaks of every creative project.
The beginning of a thing.
And the completion.
Between the two a blood drenched chasm where many a creative has given up the ghost and let their dream idea gasp its final breath.
Just as the Scriptures encourage us not to despise beginnings, however inauspicious they may feel, the Holy Ghost also makes mention of the other factor in that equation.
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV)
Better to be a finisher than just a starter.
The entrepreneurial and creative malaise is the tendency to love the splash and novelty of new things, but steer clear of the patience required to bring a project to completion. The half read and half written books, the incomplete training materials, that expensive course you purchased and watched only the first three videos.
Jesus was able to say,
“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do…
Did he heal every single sick person? Raise all souls from poverty? Crush every demon on the planet and take His throne as ruler of the earth?
No, not at this time. His commission was clear in His mind, and He knew the parameters His Father had prescribed for Him.
“…I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” (John 17:4-6KJV)
There were certain ones that were given to Him, and a clear commission how He was to work with them.
Know Your Call
Do you know who you are called to reach? And how and why they have been given to you?
This is a great place to begin, because when you know the part you are called to play in the great Kingdom enterprise, other things come into perspective and clear focus.
Even Jesus in His earthly stewardship was not called to reach everybody, just the ones the Father gave Him out of the world. There were definite goals and guidelines He followed.
The removal of doubt that clarity of commission brings makes finishing:
1. Possible – you are no longer trying to be everything too everyone.
2. Probable – clear sense of purpose and the part you play means you measure your success according to your own God-given mandate, not the mission someone else has been granted.
3. Pleasurable – God equips us inwardly for every outward assignment. You’ll find yourself much more inclined to contentment because your commission and it’s limitations fit like glove on hand. No more Saul’s armour and fighting and fumbling forward trying to be or become something you are not.
Your call is specific:
“As every man hath received a gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10)
Someone else’s call will be light tight pants. You’ll end up chafed and chafing with every step. But when you align your heart with God’s purpose, the requirements and results will bring joy to your spirit.
God world and work is vast and all encompassing. Each individual part of His Body has their own special part to play for the upbuilding and maturity of the whole. We represent Jesus in all of His manifold wisdom as a collective, not as lone rangers tooting our own trumpet.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
Remember this, it is where the joints are that the supply is opened up!
“from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16 NKJV)
The second key I want to share is a simple one, and far less philosophical.
Break your projects down into component parts.
I will use writing a book as an example, but the principle can be applied to anything creative project you undertake.
A book does not begin life as an epic bestseller, it is a collection of chapters. Those chapters are a collection of paragraphs, and those paragraphs are a collection of words.
Drill down to the smallest component and set your goals in keeping with what can be achieved within a short span of time, preferably in one 2 hour sitting each day.
Milestone achievements of this kind feed motivation to continue. Every day becomes a day to celebrate completing, because instead of looking at the distant “The End” as your final flourish, you have 500 words or 30 minutes of concentrated focus in one direction as your yardstick.
With each victory your determination is bolstered and progress is inevitable.
I don’t want to over simplify things, but it really does not get much more complicated that this. Do something every single day to progress your most important, heart felt projects.
If you fall off the wagon, get back on quickly and don’t lose steam. Certainly don’t waste a moment feeling guilty. Guilt is fruitless emotion. Conviction and commitment quite the opposite.
Make Your Progress Public
Finally, and perhaps this may be the key that unlocks consistency, make your progress public. Work openly, or with others, and be accountable to your promises and passions. Be ready to be pulled up, pushed and provoked to make good on what you have said.
Now, go get started.
And be sure to finish what you start!