Start or Stop?

If it is to be


Our patient, Angelo, is a super athlete, a long distance bike racer, who has accomplished what many never dreamed of. He had an appointment scheduled at our chiropractic office one day, but left a message that he wouldn’t be able to make it. It seems that while on a practice run with 20+other bikers, he was hit and dragged by a bus, severely injured. Remarkably, he had called us from his hospital bed, but he has no memory of calling. After extensive surgery, he needed to learn how to walk again. It seemed that bike riding was out of his future.

But not for Angelo.

That was over a year ago, and he is back in training. At his visit to our office yesterday, he expressed his concerns with getting back in the race. Then I overheard him say, “But I have the gear.” Yes, but he also had the fear. As his muted conversation continued, I overhead him again.  “It’s the start that stops most people.”*

I’m not one for eavesdropping, especially on patient’s care. These were after-adjustment conversations with open doors. And I’m so glad his words drifted my way. I was so inspired by his outlook that I asked if I could write about and quote him.

He gave credit to Dr. Rob Gilbert for the start-stop quote*, and shared his favorite Gilbert quote: “The ten most powerful two letter words – If it is to be, it is up to me.”* And he added one more quote for good measure:

“If you have the power to start it, you have the power to finish it.”

That did it for me!

Angelo embodied this wisdom in his sport. And in his life.

I want to embody it in my life, too.

For years, my fears kept me on the sidelines. When I became a parent, my boldness grew a bit because, as a mama bear, I fiercely advocated for my children. I wouldn’t necessarily take steps for myself, but I’d go to the moon and back for them. Now as an empty-nester and certified late-bloomer, I’m starting projects that would have stayed buried years ago.

Most times, I can be a pretty good starter. It’s the finishing that tangles me. So although “it’s the start that stops most people,” I’d say for me, “it’s the start of the finish that stops me”.  (Clearly, I’m no Dr. Rob Gilbert when it comes to inspiring quotes.)

But now to take these words of wisdom and to apply them.

For me to do so requires both personal practice as well as the presence of God.  If I strive in my own strength, I will soon be defeated. But partnering with the Lord provides strength beyond my own. His Spirit not only brings to mind what He would have me do, He also provides the power to do it. The Spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives us power (2 Tim. 1:7). It is up to God to do the heavy lifting. It is up to me to be obedient.

With several projects of widely varying subjects, I hardly know where to start and where to focus. But for any of these projects to come to completion – if it is to be, it is up to me – and He!

Are you stuck? Either with not being able to start? Or not being able to finish? Please comment so that I can pray for you. And let’s encourage one another!

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11





*additional research credits the quotes as follows:

“If it is to be, it is up to me.” William Johnsen

“It’s the start that stops most people.” Don Shula



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  • Maresa DePuy

    Thank you for this important post Susan! I needed this today. Please pray for my book project. I’m staring down a lot of closed doors and yet I feel like I’m not too far from the finish line. Please pray for direction, wisdom and God to open doors to get this message to those He desires to hear. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  • Susan Panzica

    Thanks for your encouragement Maresa! I will definitely pray for your book project. I’m excited to see what God will do. All those closed doors are directing you to the right path.