There were five schools competing and the excitement was high.
Doug and I both ran track in high school and we couldn’t help trading memories from—gulp—nearly thirty years ago when we were the fresh faced eager athletes.
But that’s a subject for another post…
We cheered for everybody. Josh and his team did very well.
However, I tended to cheer loudest for the kids who came in last…not because of their placement, but because of their grit.
There were two kids in particular who really touched my heart. Rather than looking like runners, they resembled weightlifters or shotputters. By the time they crossed the finish line, the cheers for the top three had mostly faded, and attention was focused on another event that was starting at the other end of the track.
One of them crossed the finish line one full track length behind the winner. His face was marked with a grimace of pain…but he finished with determination shining in his eyes.
He didn’t give up. His focus was clearly on finishing well. And he did.
I want to keep my eyes on the finish line of this life.
With all my heart, I want to hear my Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:21).
I want to be faithful.
I don’t want to get sidetracked by how others are running their race.
I don’t want to give in to exhaustion or be overwhelmed by the pain.
I don’t want to pay much attention to either the cheers or the jeers of others.
I want to finish strong.
Jesus tells me exactly how to do that:
*Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9)
*Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
*Stand firm. Let nothing move you. (I Corinthians 15:58)
*Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances. (I Thessalonians. 5:16-18)
*Celebrate God all day, everyday. Revel in Him! (Philippians 4:4)
*Fight the good fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7).
*Be of good cheer. Be confident, certain, undaunted. (John 16:33).
*Count it all joy (James 1:2)
Run YOUR race that you may lay hold of the prize and make it yours. (I Corinthians 9:24).