An Unfinished Life
I feel there is nothing, in a Catholic's life so sad as unfinished work.
If you look in scripture and the work of God and the work of God done in people's lives, you will see much about finishing and finishing well.
In the first chapter of Genesis, when God began the work of creation, He left nothing undone. “So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the furniture of them.” (Genesis 2:1)
So God finished, as we are told, the heavens and the earth, and God saw everything that He had made, that it was good, and then He sat down and rested on His own Sabbath, the Seventh day. (Genesis 2:2) There was nothing left undone. If you were to take Albert Bierstadt painting called the Yosemite Valley and compare it with the smallest grain of sand that God made, you would find that God's creation is far superior to what man could ever paint, you would find the sting of the bee more superior to the most perfectly made needle that ever came from the factories or the tools of man. You find that the most perfect polished surface under the magnifying glass seems like a great mass of hills and valleys compared with the surface of your hand. No matter how carefully inspect the wing of the smallest insect, there is no flaw— it is all perfect. The little blade of grass is made as carefully as the tallest pine tree. All God’'s work is well done, Man has painted, built, and invented many things and none of the things he has produced with his hands can compare to what God has created with His voice. All around us there are things that we do not understand or can comprehend. Although it is unfathomable what all God has created, each and everything he made was perfect.
We read about Moses, that he finished his work. In the last few chapters of Exodus, we see that Moses did all that God had commanded and had finished the work, His work was all done, and then God came in and took possession, and made it His dwelling place.
God does not want to come in and dwell in unfinished things.
If you build a house and and do not put a roof on it, it will fall to pieces, and so unfinished work will fail.
Again, we find that Josue (Joshua) finished his work,
and that was the secret of his power. "So Josue took all the land, as the Lord spoke to Moses, and delivered it in possession to the children of Israel, according to their divisions and tribes. And the land rested from wars. " He finished his work through and through, and all his life God’s blessing was on that work and on the people; and it was when Josue passed away that they began slighting the work and then came the decline and ruin of the period of the Judges.
Again we read of Nehemias , that he finished his work.
The prophet Aggeus (Haggai) had said about this restoration, "The hands of Zorobabel have laid the foundations of this house, and his hands shall finish it: and you shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me to you." So we read about Nehemias, "the wall was finished the five and twentieth day of the month of Elul, in two and fifty days. ." (II Esdras 6:15 Douay Rheims) There was no gate left out, no hinge broken, no breach in the walls that was not completed, no unfinished work; but every little thing, every bar, every hinge, every river, was all secure; then God blessed and established the work.
We read about our Lord Jesus, He finished His work.
"I must be about My Father’s business; I must work while it is day; I must work all the day long, every hour of the day, for the night is coming; My meat and drink are to finish the work, which My Father has given Me to do. And the hour came at last when He could say, "I have glorified Thee on earth; I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do, and now I come to Thee." His last word on the cross was just one little word, "finished." And when He rose from the grave there was a quietness and deliberateness about Him, there was evidence of everything being orderly and completely done, that even the napkin was found wrapped together in a place by itself, and His grave clothes were all folded up in order; there was nothing left undone. The Lord did everything perfectly, easily and well.
We read about Paul that his one mission was to finish his course;
and the time came when, within the sight of the Ostian gate where he died, he could say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming. "
He finished his work, and, had he His life to live over again, perhaps there is nothing more he could add to it.
And now, a question for you and me, how about your work and mine? Thank about it. You are standing within a few steps of a border line, when this period of your life will close up forever. Have you accomplished what God has set out for you to do? Have you finished that which you began at your baptism? How is your Christian character-—is it complete, or is it incomplete? "And may the God of peace himself sanctify you in all things; that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians)
Is that verse fulfilled in your life, or are you only saved in spots, only cleansed here and there, and great blotches of sin are upon you like a moth-eaten garment? That is not God's plan.
God’s idea for you is an entire wholeness of character--your spirit, your soul, your body all sanctified unto Him. Why not? It is because you have not been willing to enter into God’s blessing and God’s will. This is how saints are made. It is by believing His Word and excepting and doing Gods will. If you have not entered into it where you live now, it is not going to be any easier to enter into it anywhere else you live. You can run from one experience to the next. But until you stop where you are at and allow God to work where he has placed you, or allow God to work in the situation he has you. Becoming a saint will not happen.
Before this day ends, just go to Him to give you that complete transformation.
In most cases it does not happen over night. You become a saint by finding contentment with Gods will for your life and excepting the free gift of His grace to fulfill, to continue and to finish His will for your life.
May God help you today not to seek human perfection, not to say there is no room for progress, but to take and have the perfect Christ reaching every part of your life and in permeating every part of your being, a perfect child, perhaps, but just as perfect as a perfect man. You know what it is to be a perfect babe. It is a poor, weak little thing, but it is perfect. You know what it is to have a poor, mutilated body with a hand off or an eye out. Now, God wants you to be a perfect child—, that is to be complete, to be finished in all your parts, although with room for boundless expansion in the growth of your future life.
Our Saviour has it for you, and you are belittling what he did on the cross for you if you do not receive it.
Again, have you entered into the complete plan and purpose of God for your life. Paul prays for the Thessalonians that “God would make you worthy of his vocation, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith in power; that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Thessalonians 1:11)
Is God all the time having to drive you forward and press you on. God calls you to a complete conformity to His will that you may be holy and please God, and He will give you the grace to do it.
Have you started something God has asked you to do, and then got tired and dropped it? Have you been given a vocation in your life, and at some little discouragement put it aside? Have you prayed for a fallen away catholic in the past and then left of the praying again—-never prayed for them, never sought to finish the trust that God gave to you? Have you promised anything and never fulfilled it? Are we able to say, "I am innocent of the blood of all men. I have done my best to share the whole counsel of God to those that he has put in my path; I have held up Christ to all I could reach; I have done all that I could to bring souls to Christ and His church; “I have finished the work that Thou gavest me to do."
Even Sampson, in the last moment of his life, accomplished a life’s work in an hour. May God help you to accomplish that which He has committed to your hands, to leave nothing at least, undone.
So, while we yet live let us finish our work. Let us finish out our life, giving our honor to God and our life for men by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by living it out in love.
At the end of our life will we be able to say we finished well? Have you done what God has called you to do? Is it finished? Shall we be able to go into eternity with no raveled ends, with no loose, unfinished work, knowing that we with promptness obeyed God when He asked something of us?
What a precious life God has given to you and I. Only once can it be lived; never again can we walk where we walk now. Remember each and every moment of your lives: "I shall never pass this way again;" and so let every part of your being be laid at His feet, and do it as if you were standing before God and looking back at what your life was like. Knowing that at that point there is nothing you can change. There is nothing you can do different.
A person once said:
Not many lives have we —but one.
One, only one!
How precious should that one life be—
That narrow span!
Day after day filled up with faithful toil;
Year after year still bringing in new spoil.
There is a story of a poor fellow dying on the railroad track; and, as they picked him up all mangled, his face pale and blood flowing from every wound, he just had strength to say one sentence; "O, if I only had." Nobody knew what that terrible regret was that came up in his memory; something he had meant to do and just put off that day; something he had promised God to do but he did not, and never could it be done again. "O, if I only had."
God has something for you to do until it is all done, and then when it comes to the end of life, it will be sweet to say "My work is finished, and I have nothing to do but die."