I am not much of a finisher myself, in fact if i was honest i am good at starting things but not getting them finished, but God wants finishers.
President Thomas S Monson in his conference talk given in June 1989 outlines the ‘true mark’ of finishers. I am going to use some of his words and ideas but you can read the rest here.
1. The Mark of Vision. Time moves us forward no matter how much we want to stay where we are, it is through small and simple changes that we can plan for things to come.
2. The Mark of Effort. ‘Vision without effort is daydreaming; effort without vision is drudgery; but vision coupled with effort will win the prize.’ For this very thing i am very guilty, that of daydreaming and often through my lack of forward motion i find myself missing out on the blessings that are promised to those who finish.
3. The Mark of Faith. Often we need faith to believe that although the night may be long the morning will come and along with it will come the light.
4. The Mark of Virtue. ‘Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.’ (Doctrine and Covenants 121:45). I have often heard said that virtue is the way we live our lives in harmony with Jesus Christ’s when no one else is looking.
5. The Mark of Courage. Have the courage –
‘To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear the unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love, pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star.’
6. The Mark of Prayer. Today a friend told me had something he must get right for work and it may take him all day to do it and i asked him ‘had he prayed?’ Often our hearts are so full of sorrow we can no longer stand up straight. Our arms are so heavy carrying the burdens of our lives, that we almost stumble with every step. But we forget that a prayer unsaid is just a wish and although God knows our needs and our desires he is powerless to help until we prayer.
Over two years ago i began making cranes with the desire to string them together and send them to the Hiroshima Peace Garden, where they hold a service for peace once a year and decorate the trees with the cranes. I failed or maybe i fell down on the job? I ran out of origami paper and then the shop i was buying them from closed and to buy them online was either very expensive for a small amount or the postage was ridiculous. So i decided i would work out how many i needed to complete my thousand and then order them all at once, but i never strung them together so i don’t know how many i need. I ordered more papers only to realise that they were much smaller than the original ones and although i managed to fold all the papers the cats ruined a string of a hundred of them. I never refolded the hundred that are still missing.
So for lent i want to finish what i started and then find a box and post them off to the Hiroshima Peace garden and everything else is in the Lord’s hands. We want peace in the world and yet we are often not willing to pay the price needed to gain that peace. We want to wear the crown of a finisher but are not willing to complete the work needed.
Today i invite you to be a finisher.