We've come to the end of Lent. And one day we'll come to the end of quarantine too. Ending well is important in any endeavor. Maybe even more so now in the strange, unpredictable times that are our new normal.
When Jesus came to the end of his earthly life, He finished strong: "having loved them well, he loved them to the end." There was no wavering in the final minutes. No backsliding. No giving up before getting the job done. It's one thing to make every day count in difficult circumstances; it's another to get to the finish line in a better state than you started.
If you've kept your Lenten disciplines even when the going got tough—tougher than any of us expected on Ash Wednesday—well done. Very well done. We've all given up so much more than we ever anticipated we'd have to. We had to give up church, for goodness sake! And if you're like me, and gave up drinking during the strangest, most stressful time in many of our lives, you understand all too well why the liquor stores are deemed essential in a time of crisis:
"The government may know on some level that no nation in the history of the world has closed both its churches and it's liquor stores simultaneously and survived."
If you've let your Lenten discipline fall by the wayside due to the stress of all this: don't worry. You still have time to finish strong. Either by spending these next two days before Easter recommitted to your sacrifices or even by vowing to finish the Corona crisis well. There's plenty of time for that. Imagine coming out of quarantine in a better place mentally, physically, and spiritually because of changes you made right at this moment.
If you've become "corona crabby," realize that emotional contagions can be just as harmful as physical ones. How quickly does one person's attitude spread—like a virus—through entire households? Choose carefully what you focus on during this time of forced isolation. It will make all the difference in how you reach the finish line.
At the end of it all, Jesus was able to say to the Father: "I have completed the work you gave me to do" (John 16:4). That's all that's asked of us, especially now. Just to do the work the Father gives us. And to do it well.
It's not how you start that matters, but how you finish.