It's Not How You Start but How You Finish

Jose Luis Navajo shares a pastor's deep spiritual insight of faith by observing nature.

BY: Jose Luis Navajo

Excerpted from Mondays with My Old Pastor: Sometimes, All We Need Is a Reminder from Someone Who has Walked before Us. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Faithfulness is shown by staying put. The trees whose wood
is most sought after grow on the most rugged slopes of the

The cross seems heavy at times, doesn’t it?”

In asking him the question, I knew I was standing in
front of a man who carried his cross with admirable faithfulness.

“Perseverance is fundamental,” he clarified. “ ‘Deny yourself,’
Jesus said, ‘and take up your cross every day.’ There are ‘spring’
Christians who disappear in the winter. They’re like the birds
that constantly migrate in search of warmer climate. An authentic
Christian is characterized by faithfulness. Have you heard of
Francis Nichol?”

“Never,” I confessed.

“I don’t know much about him either, except a phrase that is
attributed to him, and a while back it left me pensive: ‘When you
finally fully understand the root of the word success, you discover
that it means ‘keep going forward.’ ” I think the picture it’s trying
to paint is one of a tree that endures bad weather, but it remains
there, where it was planted.”

“At times,” I risked saying, “the wind can blow so hard that it
threatens to uproot us.”

“Far from it,” he countered determinedly. “The storm serves
to strengthen us. Did you know that logging companies not only
have people who cut down trees but also people who specialize in
reforestation? They know where to plant a tree so its wood has
a better quality. When they go out to reforest a mountain, they
scan over its slopes until they find what they call stress factors.”

“Stress factors?”

Continued on page 2: Yes, the stress factors are the areas on the mountain... »

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