Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Socks and Other Stockpiles

Most of my good friends know a dirty, little secret about me: that is, I have a stockade of freshly laundered socks in my house almost all the time. We call it the “SOCKade”! Unfortunately, this is not the only stash of uncompleted tasks in the Shaw home, but it is the most frequent irritant to us when we need to get out the door quickly. The truth is that I am one of the queens of unfinished business domestically speaking. While I’m usually eager to serve my family in this way, good intentions do not always give way to finished results. I feel quite certain that I’m not the only one who struggles with this…

While I can have a huge laugh over this “flaw” in my personality, all joking aside, I know the Lord wants me to do better in this area. It has caused me to take a look at the spiritual areas where I do this as well. I’m always amazed when I open up this conversation with the Lord. He showed me this verse this morning as I did so. It made me chuckle at first, because I could almost visualize Paul talking directly to me:

“And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter:
Last year you were the first not only to give
but also to have the desire to do so.
Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it
may be matched by your completion of it according to your means.”
2 Corinthians 8:10-11
Paul was talking to the Corinthians about an offering they started, but because of problems and challenges that had erupted among the church, the giving stopped. How this very principle can apply to our own lives, too--about money, about our gifts and talents, about a new relationship we’ve started, about housework, dieting, sin struggles, spiritual disciplines, work and family goals, etc.

The Lord loves our desire to please Him and others out of the right motive. And, oh, how He must love it when our eager willingness is matched by our completion of it with the means that He gives us. Sometimes it is simply a matter of discipline and priorities, like the SOCKade; other times, it is the deeper sacrifice of surrender to Him, you fill in the blank.

Let’s ask ourselves some questions:

• Are we eager to start the projects, tasks & missions that the Lord lays on our hearts? When we start them, do we persevere and finish?

• What challenges and obstacles get in the way of our “almost accomplishments”?

• Do we also have the desire to work through the buildup of anything hindering us spiritually? What stuff have we let build up in us that needs to be put away?

• What “means” would it take to finish what we’ve started?

• Read the following verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:24 & Philippians 1:5-6---If the Lord asks us to do something, will He give us what we need to finish it?

So, as the kids and I (yes, they're the kids' socks too!) work on depleting the stockade of socks and other stockpiles of things, I pray that all of us would take this challenge from Paul to sort through our own unfinished-though-it-began-in-eagerness offerings to the Lord. It will take perseverance, but along the way, it will help us become “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4)

May we eagerly begin to allow Him to be a Finisher in us today!

6 friends shared a comment:

Vickie said...

Great post. I too have a big tendency to start a lot of stuff and don't persevere to the finish line. Thankfully it is something that the Holy Spirit brought to my attention and I am doing better, but there's always room for improvement.

Thanks for sharing :)


Anonymous said...

Nothing better than finishing . . . just wish it didn't involve such a struggle.

Denise said...

Awesome post.

Anonymous said...

I am the WORST at follow through. I've gotten better over the years but I will always fall back into that pattern if left to myself. At work I have developed little systems to get me through this flaw. But at home, I don't fare as well. There is always a load of laundry in the dryer that we're picking through.

Much of this I've learned to accept because that's just the weakness or dark side of a joyful encourager. Every gift has its dark side. LOL! On the things that really count, I make a HUGE effort to do the right thing. And My husband appreciates it so much when I do. He is not a procrastinator, of course. LOL!

Am enjoying your blog!


Patty Wysong said...

Oh! You were talking to me, weren't you?! LoL We call our collection the Sock Basket cuz we even have a special basket for them. *eye roll* Great message, La, and one I needed. Thanks!!

Joanne Sher said...

Great stuff. Not finishing can be quite a struggle with me - especially if it involves perseverance (LOL which is always, right?). Good reminder!