It's not how we start, but how we finish.
Last night after the Monday Night Football game and during an interview, Michael Vick was asked about his poor performance. The first words out of his mouth were, "I want to thank God for the opportunity to be here." When pressed further about the game and his struggles that nearly lost the game for the Steelers, Vick replied, "It's not how you start. It's how you finish."
We all now the trajectory of Michael Vick's career and downfall. We know his incarceration and the gruesome details of his dog-fighting debacle. Some understand the journey Vick has been on as God has worked through many godly mentors to reform and renew Vick's soul. Belief that God can make the vilest sinner clean is what drives believers toward a deepened faith in Jesus Christ and a desire to live our faith in full view of others. I'm sure Michael Vick at one time might have thumbed his nose at God and anyone speaking on behalf of God. In fact scripture says,
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23, NIV)
"For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the
cross of Christ." (Phiippians 3:18, NIV)
The above mentioned biblical texts could easily include our own names.
The mystery of faith is found in every moment of our failure that God shows up and demonstrates grace and mercy instead of wrathful vengeance. Jesus Christ died to defeat the curse of our sins and the sting of our deaths. (Even Michael Vick's sins.)
When Vick or any other sinners confess God and Christ, we are embracing hope in the resurrection.
We confess our faith in God who has the power to overcome our failure and regenerate our deadness. It truly is more important how we finish than how we started. I am a witness.