07 May Accepting Endings
Read 2 Timothy 4:1-7
Thought for the Day: All earthly things have an end.
There have been fewer sports sagas more puzzling than the end of Brett Favre’s career. After retiring from the Green Bay Packers in March 2008, then the New York Jets in February 2009, then the Minnesota Vikings in July 2010, Favre finally hung up his cleats (for the fourth time) in January 2011. While he could have finished his career heroically and passed the torch to the equally great Aaron Rogers, Favre was unable to accept the end. For the next few years, talk show hosts celebrated the Annual Brett Favre Retirement Tours. As a college student at the time, I felt bad for Favre: the legendary quarterback of my childhood couldn’t come to terms with the fact that his career was over. He couldn’t let go.
I wish that Favre could have learned the lesson of the Apostle Paul. As he wrote in his second letter to Timothy, Paul acknowledged that his time had come to an end and he accepted it. While he had enjoyed an amazing life and had completed missionary journeys that changed the world, Paul came to terms with the fact that his ministry was over. Rather than denying reality by trying to eek out a few more years, Paul was at peace. He knew that he had done all he could to serve Jesus and assured Timothy that, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” If Paul’s life had been a boxing match, he had more than gone the distance. If it had been a marathon, he had made it to the finish line. By passing the torch, Paul acknowledged that Jesus is in control and he (Paul) didn’t need to do more. Accepting the end is an act of courageous faith!
How often have we gotten ourselves into trouble because we tried to extend things past their natural expiration date? Faith requires a willingness to see that God is in control, and we are not. Even the best things in our lives come to an end. After all, cute little babies grow up and get married. Today, let’s remember to enjoy the different seasons of life. As Christians, we know that God works good through all situations, even endings.
Pastors Stan and David