Eleven more sleeps to decide how you’ll end it

My boss, Tom Hamilton, is a Dr Seuss fan. This is one of the key reasons I work for him. Recently, in a letter to the parents of our Matric boys, he quoted from the works of the maestro:

 How did it get so late so soon?

It’s night before it’s afternoon.

December is here before it’s June.

My goodness how the time has flewn.

How did it get so late so soon?

It’s October and the malls are all betwinkled with lights and trees and any day now that Josh Groben album will be competing for airtime with pa-rum-pa-pum-pum, rum-pa-pum-pum and other cheesy but secretly enjoyed Boney-M classics. I don’t mind a bit. I’m a Christmas junkie (for all the right reasons – like Jesus – and some of the wrong ones – like presents and my mom’s fruit cake).

As much as we’re heading into what I think is the best time of year, it’s also – for most of us – the most frenetic, most stressful, most crucial time of year. Performance appraisals. End-year functions. Strategic planning. Frazzled nerves. Short fuses. Tightropes of stretched patience. Fatigue.

Pam Ferreira (aunt / in my Top Ten Wisest People I Know) coined a startling mantra a few years ago: You’ll be remembered for November.

I was chillingly convicted by that. It’s all about how I finish. (And December is too late. The year’s over by then and people are just eating / tanning / skiing.) Every year when November approaches – and the silly season that it heralds – I know I need to crouch low in the trenches of prayer, because in my own strength I won’t finish strong.

So here’s something to think about:

It doesn’t matter how well you’ve done from January to October. A crass remark to some colleagues at the coffee machine? That’s what they will remember. Arriving late and missing the tinsel-haloed angel with too much lipstick singing Silent Night? That’s what they will remember. A glüwein too many at the Christmas party? That’s what they will remember. One stupid decision because you felt too tired or angry or lonely or hard-done-by to care? That’s what they will remember.

I’m asking myself: will I fight the good fight, finish the race and remain faithful (2 Timothy 4:7) for what’s left of this never-to-be-echoed calendar year?

It’ll be November in eleven days’ time. How will you live it?

 

Prayer:

God, let me finish

Strong. I want Your Name lifted

High by how I’ve lived.

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