Strong Finish

“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Jamaican track and field sprint runners have dominated the olympics, over the years in both the one and two hundred meter races. Many Jamaicans remain glued to their televisions during olympics, to see our runners take home gold, silver and bronze in both male and female sprints. We also enjoy the 4×100 meter relays where our runners have generally dominated. Watching and listening to track and field commentators over the years has helped us to develop a greater understanding of the race. Mention is often made about some athletes strong starts compared to the incredibly strong finish of others.

Both of these techniques of starting strong and ending well, seemed to have served these athletes in dominating the sprints. Some critics argue that a strong start is good because when an athlete shoots out of the starring blocks in lighting speed, that it’s hard to catch them down the track. We have seen other athletes start poorly and use their long strides to advance and pass other runners at the finish line. Paul has made many comparisons with running to our Christian journey. “You were running [the race] well; who has interfered and prevented you from obeying the truth” (Galatians 5:7)? In Galatians, Paul was perturbed that some believers who had started well, seemed to have gone astray by false teachings.

The Christian journey isn’t by any means a one hundred meter dash. It is synonymous to a combination of races and obstacle challenges along narrow and windy roads. I’ve watched races such as the hurdles, when athletes banged their legs against the hurdles and crash to the ground. At the end of a race like this, the name of the athlete may appear with did not finish (DNF) on the scoreboard. Other athletes may have a hamstring or other injuries, that are aggravated during running and fail to finish their races. In most races though, only contestants who place first, second or third win a medal or an award. Either way, most athletes aim to complete races, even if they finish behind everyone else.

We have to aim to finish our Christian race and gain our crowns of righteousness. The opposite of this is a crown of eternal damnation. It is sad to see many believers who were once on fire for God, become lukewarm and living in a backslidden state. “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of disaster and collapse” (Proverbs 24:16). Solomon once said that the righteous person falls down seven times, but rises again. Even if we fall, Jesus Christ is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). You are one confession away from right standing with God, so don’t tarry in a fallen state. Repent, renounce the sin or failure and continue to run your salvation race, in order to reap an eternal reward.

A.P.-Y.

9 thoughts on “Strong Finish

  1. As I read this I thought about us all being born in sin…that’s not a strong start at all. But praise be unto God, Who doesn’t allow us to end the way we started! He died to give us an advantage in the race so that we can finish strong. Hallelujah!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes, the finish line is crucial. The hardest part is how one keeps up the race to the end. I find the end near but know not if I can handle it. The real test is how I take care of my husband as someone with handicaps. I love him so much and want him to be well taken care of but am sick myself and very fearful. Thanks for this piece. Prayer really.🙏🏽❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this! It’s a great presentation of life and it’s struggles. It happens to those who believe and those who do not believe. Those with the benefit of faith can rise to the challenge, and finish, even if it is not a strong finish. I remember seeing a movie (don’t remember the name) about a marathon runner who fell and was hurt badly. He got up, in pain, and long after the race was over he finally made it to the finish line.
    Awesome lesson!~ God bless

    Liked by 3 people

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