Do I End with the Beginning or Begin with the End?


The record breaking heat of the past couple of weeks has me regretting that we didn’t plan our vacation for right about now to a slightly cooler destination. Somewhere north of the arctic circle sounds perfect. But alas! I’m stuck here melting away with all my fellow Texans.

Getting ready for a vacation takes months of planning. Sometimes, the process can be so time consuming that I’m ready for the trip to be over before I’ve even left! And at this moment I become quite jealous of some family members and the way they travel. I have an aunt and uncle who regularly begin their vacation without knowing where they are going.

My uncle is a pilot for a major commercial airline and one of the perks of the job is free travel. The catch to this arrangement is that he has to fly standby. Since it’s hard to predict what flights will have seats available ahead of time, my aunt and uncle simply show up to the airport and find a flight that has empty seats to an interesting sounding destination, and off they go.

Just like me, you probably can’t travel like that. With good reason, our vacations begin months beforehand by picking our destination. In other words, we begin with the end in mind. All the other planning and packing is based on where we plan to end up. There might be great allure to go wherever the wind blows, but if we desire to reach a specific place at a specific time, we had better plan ahead.

Now stop for a moment, get your mind off the exotic places you want to visit, and think about today and the reality of where you actually are. Let me ask you a question. When you began this day, did you start with the end in mind? Did you have a mental picture of what you planned to accomplish before your head hits the pillow? Did you have a target, a goal, a “landing spot” for your day, or is the end of your day being determined for you by the circumstances, situations, and people you will encounter?

As you ponder that question, take a moment to let the following Bible verse sink in.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10, ESV)

This verse reminds me of 3 important truths:

  1. God created me and He created you for a purpose. The days God gives us are not to be wasted away, aimlessly drifting from one moment to the next. We have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works” and that’s an amazing notion to consider. God’s plan for our lives did not end the moment we received Jesus as Savior. That was just the beginning. We have each been made with unique purpose and meant to do many “good works.”
  2. God’s purpose has a plan. We are told the purpose of our lives was “prepared beforehand.” In other words, God is the planner! (See how easily I’ve justified all my pre-vacation planning?) God did not give us a purpose of doing “good works” just as a way to fill up each day. The ways in which He has called us to live are meant to be leading us somewhere: to be closer to Him and to grow and glorify His Kingdom.
  3. If God gave us a purpose and a plan, we should probably follow His leading. Imagine I came to you and said, “I’ve gone ahead and pre-planned the most amazing trip for you. It’s been tailor made with you in mind and all the details have been taken care of. It’s completely your decision to go, but if you do, you’ll never regret it.” If you were presented with such an opportunity, you would be foolish to turn it down. Sadly, God says those words to each of His children every day and yet we too often walk away from living by His plan and purpose just so that we can call the shots.

If you’re able to, I can see how not having to plan ahead of time for a getaway can be a fun and adventurous experience. However, don’t let that attitude become the way you approach each day, for each and every day is a new and glorious opportunity to do great things in the name of your Savior, Jesus. Today, begin the day with the end already mind to live your fullest for the glory of God.

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