Focusing on the Finish Line
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. — 2 Timothy 4:7
I am a sprinter, both literally and spiritually. When I played sports, I did not have a great amount of ability, but I could run… fast. I ran fast on the football field, on the basketball court, anywhere I played. I really don’t recall ever competing against someone who could outrun me. You see, a guy can run pretty fast when he’s scared!
There are spiritual races, too. Shireen, my wife, has reminded me several times that life is a marathon, not a sprint. She knows about the temptation I have to sprint. Sprinters become tired very quickly. It’s unreasonable to think they can run for long periods of time. In contrast, a distance runner must pace himself so he can finish the race.
The ultimate goal for Christians is to finish the race God has put before us. It’s not always important how fast we move, but that we finish. In this race, we don’t compete against anyone else, yet there are obstacles to overcome. We, as Christians must press on toward the goal Christ has put before us.
The one-mile run is four laps around the track. The first lap is no problem, as the runner feels fresh and energetic. The second lap is not as fun, but tolerable. Then comes the lap runners dread the most—the infamous third lap. The problem with the third lap is that the runner begins to tire, but he knows there is still another lap to run. He might begin to doubt… even quit.
Why dread the third lap and not the fourth? On the fourth lap, the runner can see the finish line. He may even run harder, finding strength he didn’t know he had. Somehow runners know they can make it if they can see the end.
As we run our spiritual race, there will be trials and tribulations. We will tire and maybe want to give up. But Christ stands at the finish line, and if we keep our eyes focused on Him, we will finish the race.
How is Christ glorified when we finish what we start?
Extra Reading: John 17:4; Acts 20:24
Lord, protect me from Satan’s distractions and help me stay focused on You. Amen.