by Heather Tietz
I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
Isn’t there a satisfaction to checking off a list? “These are the things I’ve accomplished.” You feel satisfied. You spent your time well. You had goals, and you met them.
The apostle Paul had a life list. Here at the end of his life, he reviews his accomplishments. Notice he doesn’t list the number of churches he started. He doesn’t review the length of miles he spread the gospel. He doesn’t list the sacrifices of family, of time, of pleasure that he made. He doesn’t name the important people he worked alongside.
Instead, he lists the accomplishments of his spirit. He persevered. Before authorities, in prison, on storm-struck boats, he didn’t lose faith. He kept believing. He kept trusting. That’s it. That’s his bucket list, filled.
All the great accomplishments of his life God wrought out of Paul’s persevering spirit. Paul recognized that none of the things he did were really to his credit. Paul asked. God answered. Paul trusted. God came through. Paul was willing. God directed his way.