And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (II Thessalonians 3:13, English Standard Version)
If we were able to chat in person over a cup of coffee or tea (which would be so wonderful), most of us would agree that we are weary of 2020. We are tired of it all. Only a few days remain of a year that has proven so challenging. We hope for better days ahead.
Are there certain tasks around the house that make you weary? I have a mental list of least favorite household chores, and I was thinking of them this morning as I wiped a sticky refrigerator shelf. I also don’t enjoy emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry. Perhaps it’s because they are such mindless tasks. But once I open the dishwasher and start taking the clean dishes from it, I quickly have everything put away. The same is true about that laundry basket. It’s usually a five or ten-minute chore.
Here is my morning wisdom: just get started. And my second piece of wisdom: just keep going until it’s done.
This advice works for more than dishes and laundry. It applies to life in general. A walk begins with the first step. A friendship begins with the first smile. A new house begins with the first shovel of turned soil. A lovely painting begins with the first brushstroke. And then you just keep going until you are done. That sounds so simple, but we all know not everything started is successfully finished. Michelangelo never completed his famous sculpture of David. Chaucer never completed The Canterbury Tales, and more than one hundred years later the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan still misses its spires.
So what does unfolded laundry and unfinished cathedrals have to do with you? I’d like to use them as a reminder that even when life gets weary, even when your world turns topsy-turvy, even in a year like 2020—just keep going. Yes, life can wear us down. Yes, problems arise, plans change, and people disappoint. But just keep going. It’s okay to tell God you are weary. He understands. But take that next step. Don’t look back; look forward.
In the midst of his great trial Job cried out, “My soul is weary of my life” (10:1). At this low point in life, he didn’t yet see the future blessings God had for him. Nor do we know what great things God plans for us in the days ahead. We must not give up on life. We must not give up on God.
Finish the task. Take the next step—and then just keep going.
Lord, I need to remember that You offer Your strength to help me run this race so I can cross the finish line victoriously. When I grow weary, You are there to keep me steady, to encourage me, and to give me the strength to just keep going.