Next Monday, April 21, will be the 118th running of the Boston Marathon. Most of us probably remember the tragic bomb attacks that happened at last year’s Boston Marathon. As runners were struggling to finish the 26.2 mile run, two bombs exploded within seconds of each other. But despite the attacks, this year there will once again be over 20,000 people lining up to run and, hopefully, finish well.
In a race, we all want to finish well. When a runner sees the finish line, there is often a surge of hope and energy that just wasn’t there for much of the race. But sometimes in the race of life the opposite is true. We have all heard of “senioritis.” It is the tendency for students to coast in the senior year of high school when the finish is in sight and most of their school work is behind them. It is also possible for 8th graders to struggle with the temptation to coast through their last year, so in August we challenged them to work hard and finish well.
This week we had our second-to-last Student Leadership Institute (SLi) with our 8th grade students. They are down to their last 28 days here at ECS (not that anyone is counting) – but it seems like only yesterday that we had our first SLi of the year when we encouraged them to not fall prey to “8th grade-itis”.
In our SLi meeting this week we talked about Ephesians 5:15-16: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” We had spoken with the students about the importance of being intentional and setting goals for their time in high school – because it is not only important to finish this year well, but to be wise about how they spend their time throughout their lives.
But it is not only important for students, it is important for all of us to finish well. God wants all of us to be wise about how we use the time He has given us; He wants us to spend our time well for His purposes. And to be very honest, talking about this idea with the 8th graders was very challenging to me. It is very easy for me to be unwise in how I invest my time, but I want to take these verses to heart. I want to make the best use of my time. I want to finish well.
May He grant each of us the grace to do so.