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The Beauty of Unfinished Business

“In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.” (Deuteronomy 1:3)

Each of us has a to-do list of some kind. It may be jotted down on scraps of paper, committed to memory, or it may be elegantly scripted on a beautiful notepad where items can be checked or crossed off. No matter how that list looks, the reality of prepping is that there is always something else to do. There is one more new skill to learn, one more thing to fortify, one new element to research. We can stress about it and worry about it until we become sick, or we can accept the fact that we will never really be done preparing for our future.

For forty years, Moses led the Israelites through the desert. He struggled alongside them, hungered with them, thirsted with them. Together, they worked to create a beautiful nation of people. And just as he dreamed of their new home and planned to cross the river with them, God led him to a mountain and showed him the land right before he died. Moses had unfinished business when God called him home.

Like Moses, we will always have a little unfinished business, but the beauty of it is not that we have things left to do, but that we started something wonderful in the first place. Under God’s guidance and care, we chose to alter our lives. We know things are not perfect; we know we have much more still to do. Daily we wake and sift through our bag of unfinished business from the day before, receive God’s guidance, and go about our day. Once it ends, we return our next round of unfinished business back over to Him and rejoice that He has granted us wisdom and understanding to work in His name.

Unfinished business is not about the things left undone. No. The beauty of unfinished business is that we are living a fulfilled life and preparing for the future in a way that is pleasing to God.

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Today in Christian History

May 18th

1291 – Acre, the last territory in Palestine taken by the first Crusaders, fell to invading Muslim armies. It signaled the end of a Christian “military presence” in the Near East. (Afterwards, friars sought to spread the gospel by preaching instead.)

1631 – The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony decreed that ‘no man shall be admitted to the body politic but such as are members of some of the churches within the limits’ of the colony. (Separation of church and state was an unthinkable concept in early American colonialism.)

1766 – The Church of the United Brethren in Christ was organized in Lancaster, PA, under the leadership of Martin Boehm, 41, and Philip William Otterbein, 39. (It became a branch of the Evangelical United Brethren in 1946.)

1814 – In Philadelphia, the General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America for Foreign Missions was established — the first national organization of Baptists in the U.S. It was later called the Triennial Convention because it met every three years.

1925 – Popular evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, 34, disappeared while on a beach outing. Turning up five weeks later, she claimed to have been kidnapped and held prisoner, before escaping from her abductors.


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