To finish well

What will you story say at the end? Is your story worth saying? I make myself these questions everyday. Is it because of how I see myself in the story? Do I have an “ordinary” life and reading about all of the other extraordinary ones, creates an angst in my chest of, not being “there” or having “it” (whatever any of those mean). I think about the end, a lot. I think of how my actions today will impact the lasting memory of my likeness in the minds and hearts of those I love. Will my life reflect greatness? Will my actions exude my highest and most noble thinking? I hope so. In fact, I pray so. What will my story say to those that will remain? What is my story saying now? This really gets to me.

Recently I attended a mens group called Seven, that met for seven weeks at seven in the morning on Fridays. We explored the seven questions that rattle the minds of most men. Great conversations and even better community. The theme that really got to me was that of leaving a legacy; finishing well. How will I be remembered? How will my wife, my son and my daughter be impacted in the days, the months and the years to come? What will my grandchildren say about me? More importantly, what will God say about me?

I am a big fan of movies that depict true stories. I feel attracted to them when I can relate to many of those to whom it happened to. But if you are like me, what really stirs my heart are the endings. The underdog finishing on top, or the dejected changing his or her ways, or the stories of how the human resilience conquers the most difficult situations; epic endings. Maybe I feel attracted to them because I wonder if my story will be memorialized as those that have made it to film, not because of fame or fortune, but because of the inspiration it can bring to generations to come. Will my story inspire someone else to achieve the impossible? Will my life change the course of someone else’s story? Can I make a difference for the world to see? Will my story be epic? Have you made yourself these questions, or is it only me?For some of us, when we look at our present life we recognize that by our standards, we are not living an epic tale. And we question our existence, over and over again. I don’t know the answers to any of the questions I have made and are still making to myself. But I know they will be answered in due time.

So I have resolved that until those answers come, when I’m faced with impossibilities, I will continue to believe that all things are possible. When i feel discouraged, I will continue to inspire and be inspired. When I’m talked down and demeaned by others, I will continue to think like an eagle when everyone else around me is not. When handed the worst, I will continue to expect the best. When all seems at a lost and at a dead end, I will continue to trust that God has a plan for my life and for those I have been entrusted with. A bigger, greater, brighter, stronger and more wonderful plan than what I can possibly imagine. When faced with small minded people that want to water down my existence, I will continue to dream BIG because I serve an unmeasurable God. When wronged by someone I consider a friend, I will continue to believe in friendship, because it is the face of kindness in the world. When there is no clear path, I will continue to live my life based on the possibilities, because living by fact alone ignores any faith and greatness. If times are scarce, I will continue to give even when all is taken from me. If shunned by the world, I will continue to love. If I fall, I will brush off the dirt, clean my wounds and get up every time. When faced with injustice, I will continue to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves. If I’m left as forgotten, I will continue to remember those in need even when nobody else acknowledges me. And by doing all of this, I trust, I hope and I pray that I will be able to answer many of my questions and dilemmas. Maybe you should do the same.

I long for the day when I bow before the Almighty and lay my crown at his feet and say, “Lord, I made it. There were times when I thought I’d fail, but I made it”. That day, that glorious day, I will know that I finished well.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012


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