The Art of Ending
By Greg Laurie
The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient
in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”
And Solomon, the
wisest man who ever lived, wrote, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8 NKJV).
Samson had a great beginning. He had superhuman qualities. Physically, there was no one stronger. He was a one-man
army. On one occasion he killed 30 Philistines (the enemies of the Israelites) to settle a bet. On another occasion, he killed 1,000 Philistine warriors on the battlefield with a bone that he picked up off the ground. He once ripped a lion apart with his bare
hands. He wasn’t a fictitious superhero; he was the real deal.
For a time Samson was a mighty man of God. And for a time he was even a true world changer. But in time the world began to change him. Samson turned his back on God.
He had an amazing beginning but a tragic ending.
One day your life will be summed up in a paragraph or two on a bulletin that will be handed out at your memorial service. No one will care about how much money you made or how much stuff
you owned. No one will care how high you climbed in your profession. Instead, they’ll talk about what kind of person you were.
We don’t decide the day of our death any more than we decided the day of our birth. But we do determine
the spiritual state we’ll be in when we die. God wants us to be close to Him. God wants us in friendship and fellowship and intimacy with Him. But it’s our choice whether to have a relationship with the Lord or not to have a relationship
with Him. We want to finish well.