A few years ago we went on a cruise and got excited about art. We bought a few prints and could not wait to get home, frame them, and hang them. We thought when people came over to visit they would say, “Rick and Karen are so cultured. We wish we were more like them.” The prints are still in the container they were shipped in. But we were sure excited at first. A year or two ago my boys came home with a chin-up bar you hook on a door frame. I thought, “I’ll show them how this is done. My boys will say, ‘Our dad is a beast.’” I think I used it once. But I was excited when they brought it home.
I have a huge plastic container full of pictures. We dream of having these put in albums and arranged by year on a bookshelf. We think when people come over they will say, “We wish we were as organized as Rick and Karen.” We get excited about the idea every so often. We have a collection of unfinished projects. There are some books and exercise programs too. Things started but left unfinished. Do you finish everything you start? I imagine not. And to be honest, some things aren’t worth finishing. But don’t think, even for a second, that you can put God in your collection of unfinished projects. For starters, he isn’t a “project.” Besides, he’s not going to sit on a shelf contentedly waiting for you to give him your attention once the kids are grown or the retirement is funded or other tasks are completed.
The Israelites learned that lesson the hard way. They returned from Babylonian captivity to rebuild the temple. They started strong but in time turned their attention to other endeavors. What was important to God became unimportant to them. Sixteen years passed without any work being done on the temple. So God allowed drought and downturns and difficulties to come upon them. And he said, “Give careful thought to your ways” (Haggai 1:5, 7).
God is either the main thing in your life or he is nothing. At the end of the day, each of us are responsible for our own schedule. There is really no such thing as partial obedience. God begins as the priority and then we schedule time with him. We schedule the things that are important to him. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God . . .” (Matthew 6:33).
The Jews eventually got back to God’s priorities and took part in one of the greatest works of heaven. You can too. There are some things worth finishing.