Almanac Essay: Finish Lines

Below is a page from our May Almanac. I’ve found the idea of finish lines to be really helpful in my life, navigating how to view the ending of work on certain projects and how letting those things go helps me to enjoy leisure and family more. I hope these ideas bring good provision to your month.

It is good and healthy to recognize our need for finish lines. In the “go, go, go” life when we hit an ending point it’s good to catch our breath, and recognize the prize of our efforts. (One of my favorite writings on this comes from author Bill Hybels.) Here’s what I mean:

Your day has a finish line. Traditionally, for most people, when evening comes it’s time to take your mind off of the fields of vocation and turn it towards places of family, friends, and rest. There’s a moment in the evening when I myself try to put things away and enjoy the fruits of my efforts. That often looks like a dinner with my wife and my girls.

Every week has a finish line too. In religious traditions, it’s called a sabbath. It’s a whole week of work finding closure in a day off. This day off breaks up the week into a great rhythm. Without it it we’d be in the monotony of work and the lack of variation would mean a dissipation of joy (no matter how much you love your job!) And this day reminds you your vocation is not your full identity. You are more than what you do.

Lastly, every year should have a finish line. In traveling through the four seasons, it’s important to intentionally allocate time for vacation. Nothing refreshes the mind and restores the soul like unplugging from the everyday rhythms and leaving your city. These breaks can be expensive, but even on the tightest budget, getting out of town can do wonders.