One of my best-loved Bible stories is that of Terah, recorded in chapter eleven of Genesis: “One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran.”
Terah had a vision of life in Canaan. He set a plan to move from Ur to Canaan, together with his family. Almost midway at Haran — a flourishing caravan city then — he had a change of heart. His odyssey came to a screeching halt. Something distracted him from his vision. Something made him change his plan.
What was it?
Since I first read this story many years ago, I have always wondered why Terah interrupted his journey halfway, settling instead for something less than he really wanted. I keep wondering what may have been going on in his mind when he quit. Could he have been tempted by the opportunities Haran presented? Could it be that he grew weary and impatient with the long journey to Canaan?
We can only speculate.
Life is full of stories of people who did not go the full distance. People who started well but stumbled along the way. People who quit in the pursuit of their dreams. Some, like Terah, have taken their dreams to the graveyard. I once listened to Les Brown, one of the world’s most renowned motivational speakers say,
“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.”
This week, embrace what author Dan Green describes as the finish strong attitude:
“Regardless of what came before or of what is yet to come, what matters most right now is how I choose to respond to the challenge before me. Will I lie down or will I fight? The choice is mine, and I choose to FINISH STRONG.”