How do you cut down a tree?

Mark and I recently cut down a 40′ tree in our front yard. We did it ourselves to save some money and it was a job like none other. It just kept going and going and going. The first day we cut the bulk of it, the second we chopped up the boughs into pieces and hauled away the excess, and on the third day we chopped most of the wood into firewood for the winter. As I bent over for the millionth time to pick up a chunk of wood, a man drove by and stopped at the edge of our driveway. I am sure he had driven by a dozen other times over the last few days and watched the progress unfold before him. He rolled down the window and said, “Man, you guys are inspiring!”

I thought a lot about that as I continued to stack the wood without an end in sight. What the world wants to see is people who take on more than they should and keep going until they accomplish their goal. Isn’t that a trait that we all admire? Olympians who train for years to have one moment of success. Architects who plan for structures that seem daunting and then before our very eyes they become reality. Runners who train for the marathon and then cross the finish line in a flurry of sweat and tears. We honor people in our society who finish what they start. Most of the time whether we agree with their task or not.

In a world where Christians need to make a difference, it could be that simple…ask God what you should be doing and then, regardless of how massive it seems, finish what you start. As Christ followers we have no excuse to go half way. The Holy Spirit is our source and our strength. We must be the ones who have the ability to finish…and finish well.

So, what’s your “tree” today? Face it and finish it. Every day when I would go out to tackle our tree issue, about an hour in, I would say to myself, “Really? How am I ever going to do this? How many loads will I have to carry to get this pile of limbs out of my driveway?” And then I would just keep going anyway. What happened was a not a miracle, but it sure seemed like it to me…the pile went away. One load at a time and one backache to show for it.

Let’s be inspiring to the world. Let’s finish what we start.


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