Not enough is said or written to-day about finishing well. Lots and lots of material are available on motivation to get started and creative ways to spark initiative. Plenty of advice is floating around on setting goals and establishing priorities. Starting well is plan ‘A,’ no doubt about it. But let us hear it from the opposite end for a change. Let us extol the virtues of sticking with something until it is done. Our generation has come dangerously near the“I am getting tired-so let us-just-quit mentality.”

Is the road getting long and hope wearing a little thin? You have a dream, but seeing it accomplished seems too long to wait? Listen to the Master’s whispering:“Therefore…… be steadfast, immovable… your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians  6:9). Many start the Christian life like a lightning flash – hot, fast and dazzling. But how very few finish the course with sustained enthusiasm and vigor.

Ignace Jan, the famous composer – pianist was scheduled to perform at a great concert hall in America. It was an evening, the hall was fully packed. Present in the audience that evening was a mother with her fidgety, nine year old son. Wearying of waiting, he was restless in his seat. His mother was in hopes that her boy would be encouraged to practice the piano if he could just hear the immortal pianist at the keyboard – so against his wishes he had come. As the mother turned to talk with friends, her son could stay seated no longer. He slipped away from her side, strangely drawn to the ebony concert grand Steinway and its leather tufted stool on the huge stage, flooded with blinding lights. Without much notice from the sophisticated audience, the boy sat down at the stool, staring wide-eyed at the black and white keys. He placed his small, trembling fingers in the right location and began to play “Chopsticks.” The roar of the crowd was hushed as hundreds of frowning faces turned in his direction.

They got irritated and began to shout asking to get that boy away from the piano. Backstage, the master overheard the sounds out front and quickly put together in his mind what was happening. Hurriedly he grabbed his coat and rushed toward the stage. Without one word of announcement he stooped over behind the boy, reached around both sides and began to improvise a counter melody to harmonize with and enhance “Chopsticks.” As the two played together, Paderewski kept whispering in the boy’s ears “Keep going. Don’t quit son, keep on playing…. Don’t stop…don’t quit.”

And so it is with us. We hammer away on our project, which seems about as significant as “Chopsticks” in a concert hall. And about the time we are ready to give it up, along comes the Master, who leans over and whispers:

NOW KEEP GOING; DON’T QUIT. KEEP ON…. DON’T STOP; DON’T QUIT.