Jim Peters began the 1954 British Empire and Common Wealth Games marathon at a blistering pace. He ran the first 25 miles faster than any person ever documented at that point in history. Then, with less than 400 meters left, he collapsed. Over the next 15 minutes, in a confused and almost semi-conscious state, he staggered, fell, stood, and staggered for about 200 yards before collapsing and being pulled by the officials. (Video of his collapse can be seen here [7:30-8:10]).
Stories such as this often reminds us of Hebrews 12:1b-2: “…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the found and perfecter of our faith….”
Philippians 3:14: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
The reality is that our end matters a lot more than our beginning. The goal line means a lot more than the start line.
So, are we running to win? Are we running to finish well? Are we running in anticipation of hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:21b)?
What about our marriages? So much focus is given on one day at the beginning, but what of the decades to follow? Let us live in our marriages with the long term in view.
What about our leadership? So much pomp and circumstance, ceremonies and praise, surrounds new CEOs and managers, but what of the days to follow? Let us lead to make something that lasts.
What of parenthood? So much patience and love surrounds the first few weeks, but then life hits full force. Weeks, months, maybe years later, we have fallen into poor routines where children become a distraction to our latest sitcom addiction, requiring attention, and wanting to play. Let us model Christ in our parenting keeping their spiritual future in mind.
What of our spiritual life? So much passion was shown in our lives as new believers and so much disdain for sin, but what of future holiness? Do we let that fire build in our lives so that the flame of God’s Spirit within us continues to grow greater and hotter, or are we like gas thrown on a fire that has lots of flash and heat initially but quickly vanishes? Let us live with an increasing awareness of the impending return of our reigning King.
Let us finish well. Let us together commit our lives anew every day in anticipation of Christ’s return so that we might be found pure and blameless in the day of Christ Jesus (Titus 2:11-14).