Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The End


We have come to the end of another year. 2010 is for all practical purposes, gone, and a new year will soon burst on the scene.

Ecclesiastes 7: 8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Some of the most difficult challenges we face in life deal with things which are over – things which have simply come to their end.

· Things we love

· Things we have enjoyed

· Things we have depended on

· Things we have grown used to

We don’t possess the ability which God possesses. The prophet Isaiah said that God sees the end from the very beginning. (Isaiah 46:10)

But that still does not tell us why the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes says that the end of a thing is better than its beginning?

In order to get a greater understanding of this truth we might look back at the original meaning of this word “better” and employ some of its original synonyms.

Better = beautiful; pleasing; beneficial; fulfilling; complete; precious; costly; revealing; more understood

Things are more understood at the end than they are at the beginning. At the beginning one cannot see the purpose, intent or impact of a matter as clearly as one might judge it at the end.

The end of a matter reveals more about the matter than does the beginning.

For example, we cannot know what 2011 will bring, it’s only beginning. However, we do know what 2010 dealt us … but … 2010 is over.

Just because 2010 is gone does not mean it is forgotten, nor should it be. When things end, we must put them in proper perspective.

How do you deal with something that’s over? How do you deal with something that has come to its end?

Some things seem to end on their own and yet there are other things which are just as over but they haven’t ended yet.

What do you do with those things that are over which need to be ended?

How do you end something that’s over so you can start something new?

On December 8th I turned 56 years old. I needed to talk to some of our television producers whose offices are in Southern California, and I also needed to take a look at some historical sites between here and the west coast and survey their potential to be used in an upcoming series. So, I combined those needs with my wife’s desire to do something for my birthday and we drove to California and back - 4525 miles in all. Sort of a work-cation – not quite work and not quite vacation.

Along the way we made some videos at places we found interesting and I could not help but to ham it up a little since these were not meant for broadcasts but rather for program format and site review.

This morning I spoke at a funeral for one of our church member’s grandmothers who passed away on Christmas Eve. This afternoon while I was completing my studies for tonight’s message I thought about the two points I would be making tonight and remembered that I had included these two points in a couple of the videos I made on my birthday trip.

I hope I don’t regret this decision but I got Jerry, our Director of Media, to pull the rough cuts of a couple of the videos to show you. I have to run a disclaimer because even though the information you will hear is historically accurate, these clips were not intended for broadcast and on top of that have not been cleaned up technically - so the video is not filtered nor has the audio been worked on at all.

Nonetheless, since we’re home folks and you are so forgiving, I want to use them for whatever value they might add to support the points.

I’ve not seen anything on this first one, it’s a cut chosen by the media department. The point I’m making is:

What do you do when something is over!

Show Clip From Fort Worth Livestock Market

Ok, just because it’s over doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good.

When something is over we need to remember the good times. All of life you have lived so far is history. And, the moment you do or say something, it’s past. Memories are what we cherish from the life that is past.

A key to enjoying your life today is to put yesterday in its place. In order to do that we must let go of the bad memories, minimize their impact, and hold on to the good memories. It can be a challenge however you can fill your life with your best memories. It is a choice!

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — think on these things.

The second point I want to make tonight is that just because one thing is over, does not mean that everything is over. There is always a future and the next moment comes suddenly. Change from the old to the new comes suddenly.

When one thing is over it is a sure signal that something else is about to begin. God does things suddenly!

Watch this clip (Show Clip Two from the Meteor Crater) – again, it hasn’t been cleaned up yet and the wind noise may make it a little hard to hear but I think it will make the point.

What’s the point? Change comes suddenly – often in the twinkle of an eye!

Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Acts 9:3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.

Acts 16:26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Tomorrow comes just as suddenly as yesterday ended! And your next opportunity is apt to come when you most need it but least expect it!

How do you put an end to something that’s over? By embracing the new thing God will suddenly bring your way.

In a just a little over 48 hours 2010 will come to a sudden but official end and there will scarcely be a breath before just as suddenly, 2011 will begin.

Decide right now that you will choose to cherish the good memories which are past while at the same time, embrace every new opportunity God gives to build more good memories both for you and for those you love.

God does things suddenly! Don’t miss your opportunities because you aren’t looking …

Believe me – a new day is about to begin for you!

Fill your life with the good God gives and keep watching, God has a future planned just for you!