When is almost enough? Hardly ever.
‘Almost’ means coming up just short before the next payday. It means hitting the wall at mile 25 in a marathon. It means losing being salutatorian by getting a B+ instead of an A in your last class.
‘Almost’ gets you second place instead of first. It finds your goal just about reached when there’s no more time. And it’s an amazing comeback from 21 points down in the fourth period when the winning basket rolls around and out as the buzzer sounds.
Nobody tries to ‘almost finish’ or ‘almost win.’ No one plans to quit reading before the book is finished. It just happens. Circumstances outweigh determination and guts. Luck steals the victory from the half-hearted.
Rome’s king over the Jews almost made the most important decision in his life. Almost.
At one point in his career King Agrippa had James, the brother of John put to death to appease the religious leaders and attempt to squash this new ‘Jesus’ movement. He then arrested the Apostle Peter to further tighten the screws on the community of believers. But his planned interrogation was thwarted when an angel broke Peter out of prison the night before! (Acts 12)
Some time later he has an opportunity again to question one of the followers of ‘The Way’ … none other than Paul. This imprisoned Apostle carefully and respectfully laid out his personal testimony. He told of his conversion and what he had been doing prior to that. He then makes a direct appeal to Agrippa and challenges his to make a decision regarding Jesus.
The King’s response (Acts 26:28) speaks to all who come close to surrendering their lives to the living God. “You’ve almost persuaded me” he says, and lays his spiritual future off to the side.
Both the decision to become a follower of Jesus and the way we follow after making that choice, have little to do with ‘almost.’ From start of the relationship on through eternity, whole-hearted surrender, complete faith and unwavering allegiance are called for. There’s far too much at stake to ever settle for ‘almost.’