Where You Start, Where You Finish, or What You Do Between – Which is Best?

What is more important? How we start? How we finish? How we are in the middle? Which one is most important in a race? I would say finish but how we start and what is done in the middle of a race can be just as important and leads to where the finish is. Starting on the pole and wrecking is not good. Starting on the pole and having a bad set up and drifting to the back of the pack is not good. Starting in the back and working your way through the field for a win or top 3, 5, or 10 finish is good. Starting on the pole and running a smooth, good race for the win, now that is fun!
The same can be said in life. The finish is critical but that does not excuse us from obeying and following the LORD God in the middle and start. It is best to have continual surrender, humility, servant hood.

Proverbs 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
We finish with a “better” verse and we start with one this study. This verse can tie to the ones we will see on marriage and family. How is it around your dinner table? Do you take time to gather as a family often? One of the things I like about racing is the family aspect. I often see families gathered at the car/hauler. It is so good to bring the family together and often. I know for many that cannot happen every dinner but at the least 2 or 3 times a week. Make those times meaningful and memorable in a good way.

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Nine times “slow to anger” is said in the Old Testament. They are all interesting verses to look at as they are tied to what God wants to see in us. Are you calming or stirring? There is a place for both but I hope I lean more to the calming side and especially in the home.

Proverbs 15:19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.
Thirteen times “sluggard” is used in the Bible, all in Proverbs and we are on number 5 of 13. Might be a good idea to look at all 13 together and see what we can learn but I will continue to look at them as they come up.
Having a thorn is not comfortable. Getting scraped by a throne is even more painful. Get the picture? Be the upright person not the sluggard.

Proverbs 15:20 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.
What does the picture of your family look like? The first or the second statement? It does not matter if you are young or older. God wants us to be the wise son or daughter.

Proverbs 15:21 Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
Twenty-two times ‘folly’ is used in Proverbs. All are used in things the Christian should not be. How is your walk?

Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
Here is a verse deserving of emphasis. Too many of us try to go alone in life. Our pride, our fear, our lack of love all play a part of keeping us separate. They are all tools the evil one uses to keep us apart instead of together. It is so important to have a mentor and be a mentor and have accountability partners and those guys you just hang out together with. We need to have the guy in our life that will both encourage us and challenge us. I have heard dozens of messages lately reminding me of the importance of this. Do you have those relationships?

Proverbs 15:23 To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
Here is some good encouragement. It is good to lift others up. It is good to have a real joy and peace. We do that with our words and actions. Timing is important. We can say the same words with the same stress in voice at different times and they can be received completely differently. Please, speaking to myself, think before you speak.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

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