Why It's Good to Be Unfinished

I started training for a triathlon. Today I ran for fifty minutes. I’ve been training slowly enough that I really can run for fifty minutes. But I get bored. And I have to play mind-games. Run 30 minutes. Then run 10 minutes past this spot. After that turn around and run 15 minutes in the other direction. Then run 5 minutes back, and you’ll be at your car.

Why It's Good to be Unfinished | by Cody Andras | http://www.codyandras.com/why-its-good-to-be-unfinished/

It’s kind of like middle school math word problems. But it keeps my mind focused on something that isn’t I hate running, and that is helpful. My other tricks: books on tape and new songs with good lyrics.

But there is something to be said about the steadiness of the training, of putting one foot in front of the other enough times that you make it to the end of the run. You don’t have to figure out which muscles to engage. They just work. And after a few weeks, they are different. They work differently. They move differently. They look different.

“Do you think the last year has changed you?” A friend asked me a few weeks ago.

It was a good question. I wasn’t sure of my answer. “I dunno. Do you think it changed you?” [Good, creative deflection, don’t you think?] But it got me thinking.

Yes, I think the last year has changed me. I’m not really sure how. I’m not really sure what’s different.

Maybe I’ve learned to rest a little more. Maybe I’m a little bit softer. Maybe I’m a little less inclined to spend time around people who are not that nice to me. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but it’s certainly more pleasant. Maybe I’m less likely to judge myself or anyone else by what we “do.”

Maybe I understand God a whole lot less than I did. Maybe I still trust Him. And maybe that’s a win.

Because the context keeps changing, but the question has stayed the same: "Do you trust Me, child?"

For a year, the future was circumstancially unclear. Nothing was certain. It was hard to hope when everything felt so vague. So I just sat there paralyzed for awhile. It was like every bit of faith got squeezed out of me, until I was convinced that it wasn’t my faith that was going to accomplish anything—it would have to be God. It would not be anything of my own making.

And then God moved. And I got a job. And my days had structure. And it was forward motion. And everything was new. And exciting. And I fell into a routine, a rhythm of placing of one foot in front of the other. And it has been a relief. And a joy. And I love it!

But I’ve been catching myself with this anxious pit in my stomach. And I haven’t really known how to define it until today. What if God is finished with me? What if He moved me here so He could move on? Placed me here to sign off on me?

Lord, I don’t want to be left. I don’t want You to move on. I don't need You to do anything fancy. I just still need You to be near, to be active, to be working on my behalf.

I need to know He isn't finished with me.

And then today, somewhere in the middle of the mind games of mile 3, I remembered that the end of a season doesn’t mean the end of my God. I realized that I'm still me. I realized that the steady rhythm of these days can still shape me. And maybe it’s not as intense as the last season. But it’s just as real. I still need Him just as badly.

There is a song by Jon Thurlow with the line: "Seasons have changed, and I'm aware that passion is not enough. Now that I know my weakness, Lord, oh how I need your never dying love." Yes. That.

Yes, I think the last year has changed me. I hope it has. I hope this next one does too.

Because the context keeps changing but His question has stayed the same: “Do you trust Me, child?”

I keep forgetting that He didn't bring me here to leave me.

So I made it the background of my phone:

“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

There is freedom in being unfinished.

I can dance a little bit and act a little crazy. Or I can just walk quietly through a Monday.

You’re unfinished, too, you know. No matter what your life looks like. No matter the season. No matter the change. No matter what has ended or what has begun. No matter if it’s intense pressure or a steady placing of your feet. He’s working on you. He knows just how to do it.

And sometimes, when you make that face, when your heart breaks for that woman that you cannot help, when you reach for that friend’s hand, when you smile at that stranger or bandage that skinned knee again, our Father smiles. And He glances over at His Son. And He whispers, “She looks like You when she does that.”

And that is what He’s been after all along: sons and daughters that look like His. Because we are.

So let’s stay in this season until it folds over into the next, until the days get shorter and the mornings cool. May He hold us steadfast when we are not steady. May He kneel down beside us when we cannot stand. May His steps be the ones that we match as we run. May His heartbeat be the rhythm of our days. May we know Him. Even at times when we cannot feel Him.

Because the context keeps changing but His question has stayed the same: “Do you trust Me, child?”

And like the stubborn child that I sometimes am, I keep asking, “Can I?”

And like the faithful Father that He always is, He keeps answering, "Yes."

Sun up. Sun down. The steady rhythm of a God unchanging through it all.

Why It's Good to be Unfinished | by Cody Andras | http://www.codyandras.com/why-its-good-to-be-unfinished/

“Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me! That would be certain death. If You wake me each morning with the sound of Your loving voice, I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in You.”

Psalm 143:7-8 (MSG)

Why It's Good to be Unfinished | by Cody Andras | http://www.codyandras.com/why-its-good-to-be-unfinished/