It is not how you start but how you finish

Recently the media have been reporting that James Hird, the former Essendon player and coach, has lost his bid to have his insurance pay for his legal costs. It is not for me to say who was right and wrong in this whole saga.

But I will say this. Hird said he as Senior Coach would take responsibility for the supplements program at Essendon. This supplements program has caused Essendon players to suffer under sanction after sanction. Yes, they took the supplements, but they followed the lead of their senior coach. It seems to me that since this supplement saga broke James Hird has done as much ducking and weaving with almost as much skill as he did when he was a player for Essendon.

As an opposition supporter I watched Hird on the field with a mixture of jealousy and admiration. What a player he was.

Yet what do we all remember him for now? This murky business where he has done interview after interview ducking the same responsibility he said he would take at the start. This is what he is now remembered for. Not his onfield heroics, but what he as Senior Coach has overseen, and then actually refused to take responsibility for. The players, at least in part, must have a deal of frustration for him, perhaps wish he was never coach in the first place.

It is a sober reminder to me. It is not how you start. It is not even how you do in the middle. It is how you finish. Of course the best example of this is Jesus. We remember His birth, we remember His miracles and His teaching. But most….we remember those famous words…’It is Finished”. And the miracle afterwards.

I hope and pray I have many years left of ministry. I hope and pray my next 20 are as significant and meaningful as my last 20. I hope and pray for those older than me, that they finish well.

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