Letter #19: Fight Hard to Finish Well

by Jonathan Haefs

Dear Jonathan,

Welcome to your final semester of seminary! You are almost there! The finish line is in sight! There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train! Praise the Lord for graduation day!

I bet thoughts such as these have been racing through mind lately. However…I feel I need to give you a warning. The excitement of your impending graduation won’t last long. I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer, but if you are anything like me…senior-itis is going to set in real bad, real quick!

Business Finish LineYou have to fight hard to finish well!

The road has been long and hard. You’re tired and feel like you deserve to be done, but don’t forget…seminary has never been about what you do or don’t deserve. You are not there for yourself, and so you are not finishing for yourself! You do it all for the glory of God and the good of his church.

Finish your classes well. You may have been saving a few “easy” courses for this final semester so that you can coast, or perhaps you just have fewer courses. No matter what, work just as hard as you always have. God is still equipping you through your courses and you need to pay attention.

Finish well with your profs. You have formed some great, lasting relationships… don’t check out of them! The way you interact with professors during your final semester is indicative of what your relationship will be like with them post-graduation. You are transitioning out of the professor-student relationship into that of friend and colleague…make the transition well.

Finish well with underclassmen. You may not know it, but there are so many students watching and listening to you right now. Those who are just beginning are taking cues from you the same way you did from upperclassmen just a few years ago. Set a good example and pass on what you have learned. Teach them why they are there and how they can get the most out of their time in seminary. You are the expert now…perhaps you need to write some letters of your own!

Finally, finish well with your friends. We have spoken many times about the sacredness of the friendships you have formed during seminary…don’t let them slip away. You are in the midst of applying for different ministry positions, some of your friends are planning weddings or having babies. It is easy for you all to forget about one another. Stay in the trenches together…now and always!

Jonathan, the temptation to walk to the finish line is great, but don’t walk…crawl! I mean…stay on your knees in worship before Jesus. Know that everything you do is for his name’s sake. You began well…

Fight hard to finish well!

Grace and Peace,

J

*To know/understand the premise behind these letters please click here.

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