It’s How You Finish (A Lesson from UpWords)

I can’t believe how fast the past week has gone! My 11-day vacation is more than half over now.

Apparently there’s a lot of lessons to be learned from games, because during last year’s vacation (one year to the day!) I wrote a blog post about Yahtzee (you can read it here) and just now I found a lesson while playing Upwords.

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I was playing with both of my parents, and I was actually doing quite well. I was ahead for most of the game and was anticipating to win; I was really excited because I’ve never beaten my mom at it before! But then I made a stupid move at the end and played “hemming” on the word “ding.” I figured I would end up getting stuck with my h and two m tiles, so I played them while I could. But all it did was leave me with few letters (because the draw pile had since run out), and it didn’t give me very many points. I had been doing so well, yet I ended up in third place.

My most recent song, called Just Let Go, has a line in the bridge that says, “Let go of your past, all that matters is how you end.” And it’s very true. No matter how healthy or wealthy you’re born–no matter how well off you are in high school–no matter how young you are when you’re saved–you can still live a miserable life. Being born in a well-off family does not guarantee your success. And it’s true vice-versa; being born into poverty does not mean you have no chance of making a living (at least in capitalistic countries).

It’s also true in our faith. We can start out really excited and on fire for the gospel, but if the fire gets put out too soon, then what good is it? We have to keep on fighting the good fight; we have to endure to the end. King Solomon started out really well–he was known throughout the world for his wealth and wisdom! Yet even he fell into adultery and idol worship. It’s not how we start that counts in the end; it’s how we end.

Maybe you feel as though you’ve wasted your life. Maybe you gave in to drugs, drinking, crime, etc. Whatever your case is, I want you to know that you are not too far gone. You are never beyond God’s forgiveness. All you have to do is surrender your life to God, and He can and will redeem you. I’ve heard so many stories about people who finally reached the end of themselves, said yes to God, and had their lives completely turned around. It’s not how you start. It’s how you end.

Or maybe you’re like me, and you’ve gone to church your entire life. You got saved at a young age, and you’ve never done drugs or anything like that. If that’s you, can I just warn you about something? It doesn’t matter how you start. What matters is how you end.

God can take any story–no matter how sinful or messed up–and give it a beautiful ending. But any Christian who gives up and lets the devil into their life can still have a tragic ending.

Galatians 6:9 says this: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Don’t lose heart, Church. Keep fighting the good fight and pursuing Christ, because at the end of the day we still have this hope–we will see Jesus face to face. I don’t know about you, but when I come to the end of my life, I want to hear “well done, good and faithful servant” as I step into paradise.

I pray that each and every person ends well–no matter how they started.

I hope you find this encouraging! God bless y’all ❤