There’s something to be said for determination.

This story of a husband an wife sailing team who were stymied in their first attempt at circumnavigating the globe by a run in with Somali pirates (resulting in their imprisonment for 388 days), only to fix their boat up upon their release and give their around-the-world trip a second attempt is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

So what’s the reward for such people? Is it a deeper sense of satisfaction? Is it better headlines?

Or is it simply that they succeeded? Having finished.

But in a world where drama rules, and the excessive is lauded, is merely succeeding worth all the effort?

I remember having a great deal of “success” in high school. I did well academically, I was respected by my teachers and by my class-mates, and I was afforded a bright future. But to me, I don’t recall doing anything out-of-the-ordinary. For all intents and purposes, I was astonishingly normal. I just did what I needed to do.

And sometimes, that’s all that needs to be done to stand out.

In a world that’s increasingly sadistic, negative and pessimistic, sometimes all that’s needed to be “successful” is simply to finish. Certainly it could be argued that there are degrees of finishing (ie, finishing well, finishing poorly, etc), but semantics aside, there is a great deal of pride to be found in completing a task or achieving a goal at all, no matter what condition we arrive in. For it’s in crossing the finish line that we find so much separation between those who finish, and those who don’t (or never even attempted at all).

More and more I find the pleasure of God on my life simply for attempting things. He’s my Father, and I don’t attempt thing to try and gain his favor, I attempt things because he made me able to do so. It’s my great adventure to be like him. And scripture backs it up. It’s faith that pleases God. It’s that “I don’t see the other side, but I’m going to jump and give this a go because I trust you” kind of faith.

Often times I think one of the only reasons the secular world owns so much, and the Christians own seemingly less, is because the world just works harder than Christians do. In fact, I also believe the secular world understands the Biblical principles of reaping and sowing better than some Christians do. They invest vast amounts of time and money only to net vast rewards; they also give away vast amounts of their treasure, only to see their treasure multiplied. Meanwhile, some God-fearing “Bible believing” Christians wonder whether or not tithing and giving offerings to their local storehouse (a superior form of parting with funds than whatever the secular world knows, but does not preempt business investing) is good for them or not.

We Christians also tend to suffer from the rip chord mentality (RCM). As soon as something gets hard, doesn’t go our way, or downright fails, we pull the rip chord and get out. I’ve never seen God change his mind so many times about things he apparently said to a Christians as he does when the Christian encounters an obstacle. I don’t mind a Christian saying they made a mistake, or hedged their bet in the wrong basket, but when we cite “God said” terminology to it, we enter into a dangerous realm. May we tread carefully when it comes to tarnishing his reputation; the world is watching, looking for truth.

Determination? Means a dang-lot.

If you’re going through hell, keep going. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up. -Sir Winston Churchill

Very often I’m asked how I do so much. Sure, I believe God gave me a sizable creative capacity. We all have a capacity. But there’s a much, much simpler answer.

I always try and finish what I start. Because finishing is its own reward.

So get back to writing that book, parenting those kids, splashing color on that painting, drafting that homework assignment, formatting that spreadsheet, or being faithful to your final 3 months at a post. It means more than you’ll ever know. Until you get there.



Nathan R. · 10 Sep ’12 at 10:55 am

Amen! The hard part isn’t so much finishing as it is starting

    Christopher Hopper · 10 Sep ’12 at 12:08 pm

    Hey, a friend of mine had this great idea for a historical fiction novel…I should tell you about it sometime…

    Nathan R. · 10 Sep ’12 at 9:20 pm

    oh? 😉

Billy Jepma · 10 Sep ’12 at 11:03 am

Thanks Christopher! Have missed your inspiring messages! Now I have to go and finish a chapter I started yesterday. 🙂

Marcia Bauchle · 10 Sep ’12 at 11:20 am

I agree with almost everything you said here. The only thing I sort of disagree with is the part about the world working harder at owning so much. If the world gave tithe and offerings to equal 15-20% of thier income to the church, they would have alot less “things”. I figure that if you don’t get used to own alot of “things”, you have more time to give to the work God has called you to, and less time maintaining your “things”, and you have more money to give to the cause of Christ. Just sayin… Keep up the good work, CH. You know I love you and your beautiful whole family!

    Christopher Hopper · 10 Sep ’12 at 12:06 pm

    While I agree possessions can be a time-and-energy sucker, I should have clarified that when I say “more,” I mean it in operational means. Market share, exercised authority, access, and leverage. Yes, I assume the Believer has access to the limitless resources of heaven, but that’s kinda’ the point of my post. We “are” the head and not the tail, but we “aren’t” the head and not the tail; the tension of who Jesus says we are and what we’re walking in to responsibility for.

Christian Fahey · 10 Sep ’12 at 2:13 pm

“Because finishing is its own reward.” This is edifying. Thank you C.

    Christopher Hopper · 10 Sep ’12 at 2:45 pm

    You’re most welcome. Been praying for your transition all week.

    Christian Fahey · 10 Sep ’12 at 5:07 pm

    Prayers much appreciated, thanks. Things are going well in Camillus. Now for a buyer for the homestead. Safe and prosperous travels as you and JLH go over the pond!

      Christopher Hopper · 10 Sep ’12 at 6:13 pm

      Drove by twice today and prayed for the sale! Or, that you rent it and make buckets of residual income.

Diana Nesbitt · 15 Sep ’12 at 11:13 pm

Well that was convicting. I am horrible at finishing what I start! 😛

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Sep ’12 at 2:58 am

    Maybe, but you’re a wonderful person so who cares! 😉

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