Finishing Well

     I remember the day when I learned that a comedy is more than something that is funny.  A comedy in literature is a story that ends well.  A tragedy is a story that ends poorly.  In todays reading we have both a tragedy and a comedy.  Sampson, the hero of Israel is rendered weak and impotent by  a fragile woman.  The Prodigal Son who we are introduced to as a rebellious nere do well is reinstated to sonship.  It is easy for all of us to rest on our laurels, but what matters most is how we finish.
     All of our accomplishments in life can be nullified by a tragic finish and all of our failures can be redeemed with a noble completion to our journey.  As most of you know, I recently announced my departure from my beloved congregation in Murphyboro.  It is been an amazing story filled with  twists and turns, exhilarating highs and devastating lows.  My preoccupation now, however, is simply to finish well.  This has been a time of intense grieving for me and I have been inundated with a flood of warm well wishes.  Still at the end of my time there are the predictable few who still make it their business to try to get one fresh stab in before they are left to seek out new victims.  The temptation, frankly, is to finish poorly and unleash a firestorm of pent-up responses.  I have been thinking lately, however, that we can accomplish great things by the life-giving words that we say, but our character is primarily formed by what we don’t say.
    Ever wonder what Jesus was tempted to say?  Even on the cross he is sending life-giving messages.  “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  When given an opportunity to confront his attackers he chose not to defend himself.   As I end my time here I want to finish well.  I hope that all of you whom I know realize how deeply I love you.  I also pray that you will forgive me of any shortcoming either intentional or unintentional.  I fully and freely forgive all who have harmed me either intentionally or unintentionally.  As I come to the end of my time as pastor, I want to finish well.  If there is anything anybody who needs to clear up or clean up anything with me, I am available.  Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord and your faithfulness and friendship to me.
     Why not join me in the task of completing our stories with dignity?  No matter how good or how bad life has been, let’s commit to making our last chapters, our best chapters.  Let’s finish well!

About drphilipnordstrom

I am the Lead Pastor of Bethesda Christian Fellowship which is a dynamic growing congregation in Knoxville, Tennessee. I have an amazing wife, Melanie, two daughters, Natalie, and Kristiana, and a son, Noah. Nordstroms are passionate world changing Christ followers. We are educated with a Christian world view. We make godly decisions regarding friendships and marriage. We seek God's guidance for our life work and ministry. View all posts by drphilipnordstrom

2 responses to “Finishing Well

  • mikj45

    When we run our race we are constantly bombarded with slippery hillsides or potholes on our journey. Some we handle better than others and look to the Lord to go through this time with us. Sometimes we don’t feel His presence because we are so weighted down with whatever trial we are going through. When we start seeing the light at the end our faith is restored and strengthened and hopefully we have grown through this experience. It is especially hard when the ones you love are the ones throwing the spears. Know this you are loved anb I know through my own life experiences that there will always be those that are at the ready to throw those spears for whatever reason real or imagined. So with these words I hope you can be strenghtened and encouraged to move forward and let the past be the past. God Bless you and your family on this new journey.

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