In the Olympic stadium in Mexico City in 1968, only a few thousand fans remained. Most were resting or talking or planning where to go for the next event. And then a clap was heard and then another, a few more, and then a welcoming applause exploded for the lone runner of the twenty six mile Marathon event. John Stephen Akhwari (Ak-war-e) of Tanzania, bandaged and bloody from an awful fall, painfully and slowly approached and crossed the finish line. It wasn’t until the next day people realized the specialness of his finish.
In an interview by a popular reporter John Akhwari was asked why he endured the pain and why he continued running in the race after he knew he had no chance of winning. With a perplexed look on his face he responded: "I don't think you understand. My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me to finish the race."
Genuine Christ followers are in a race. It is a contest that we entered the day we called out to God in faith receiving His Son as our Savior. There is a Biblical race metaphor and it pictures that we need training, we have a goal, there is urgency, we represent others besides ourselves, and there is a prize to be won. Not everyone can win the first place prize but each one can finish with sincerity, dignity, and honor. Each of us one day will stand before the Judge of the Ages and give an account of how well we participated in this race.
At this point in the year it doesn’t matter much how you began your year, but it matters now how you will finish. Did you begin your year with some resolutions? When 2010 began did you have some personal goals you were determined to make before this year ends? Have you reached your goal yet? Perhaps you signed on with BBNBI and were excited by the course opportunities and you were looking forward to that study that has for years interested you, but… I’m sure there are some good reasons you have not finished yet, and perhaps some good excuses you never started. “Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing.” We are about out of 2010. It is easy to think, “the year is almost gone I will try again next year.” Don’t let the year go with out making an impressive push to finish well. Finish what you began. Pick another course and complete it before the final seconds of 2010 tick off the clock forever.
It is easy this time of year to let time tick away. There is work, business, parties, family get-togethers, football games, shopping, traveling… Much of these can be good things, but we must keep before us that “we are not our own we have been bought with a price” and have been brought into the family of God to bring pleasure to God. We here at BBN wish to challenge you to think of this year as a race. Push to finish your best. In the busyness of the season do not be distracted from the things that will matter for eternity. Paul the Apostle instructed his student Timothy and it is our encouragement to you: “Study to show your self approved unto to God a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed.” FINISH WELL AND FINISH RIGHT in 2010.