Recently I started a new job that is outside of my normal skill set. I now hold a position as an Administrative Assistant for our local Senior Center. (Big title for “I assist with whatever needs to be done.” LOL) A big part of my job is bookkeeping and payroll along with filing for grants, promotions for the center, reaching out to donors, and organizing events. Also, as part of my job I have a CPA that lends me a hand when needed for training purposes to get me up to speed on the accounting end of things. Well, when I had first started, I had that CPA hand me a piece of paper that contained several quotes, and the very first of these was, “Start with the end in mind.” Of course, in that particular case it was referring to accounting and where the accounting will end up. With my analytical mind, this statement drew me to think much deeper than he had originally intended.
You see, even as a young child in school, I would always work problems and mazes backwards. I would always start at the ending and work backwards, which allowed me to solve the mazes and problems pretty fast, oftentimes even faster than most of, if not all of, my classmates.
With this particular statement, I thought that for every action there is a reaction that will eventually lead to an end result. (Cause and effect.) How many times before performing an action do we consider what the end result will be? Let me give you a visual example of what I am referring to. When we throw a rock into the water, we know that it will form a ripple. We watch as that ripple goes out across the water, but how often do we stop and think before throwing that rock where that will ripple will end up? That ripple, if thrown into a vast ocean, will end up far beyond our sight. Others may even see that ripple, having no idea where it had even started.
As Christians and children of God, we should always “Start with the end in mind.” That very statement caused me to be drawn to dig deeper into its meaning and origin. Here is what I found. From an article titled “The End in Mind”:
“Begin with the end in mind” has been a popular quote in recent years because of the best-seller, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey. The idea put forth in the book resonates with what the Preacher wrote some over two thousand years ago. The Preacher, now seemingly advanced in years, has reflected back in Ecclesiastes all that he had done. At the end of the day, the Preacher says that the end is better than the beginning and it is better to be patient than haughty—that is proud. The comparison talks about what one puts into a task and likewise the results of the task. He’s saying that generally speaking, when one sets out to do something, he or she invests much time working towards a goal, and for this reason the goal, when obtained, is most certainly a better state of affairs than when one started towards that goal.” (a)
“Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) As Christians, our end should be greater than our beginning. We should look far past our own legacy and preparing the way for our own future and look into the future of those who come after us, even further into the future of ALL that comes after us. The legacy that we leave in fact should not even have an attachment to our own name but instead point others to the reputation and name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You see, our end in mind should be to bring all glory and all praise to the Father for His name’s sake and not our own. His name is the name above all names. His name is the only name that will live on for all eternity.
You will notice if you pay attention that many, many famous celebrities have passed on from this life and are easily forgotten. Eventually, their names are seldom, if ever, brought up again. The name of Jesus, however, has lasted for more than 2,000 years and will last throughout eternity.
“Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” (Daniel 7:27 NJKV)
Now, I want you to take a few minutes and think about that statement again. “Start with the end in mind.” What does that look like and mean to you? What are you trying to accomplish and for what reason? What do you seek to gain? What legacy do you want to far exceed you after you have left this earth? To whose name do you want to bring all glory and all praise to? What is your end in mind?
(a) Excerpt taken from: July 05, 2011 Devotional found at Bible.blaze.net