"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finish Strong or Finish Slowly ...... Just FINISH!

I came across this story from one of the all time great distance runners, John Stephens of Tanzania.  He ran the 1964 Olympic Marathon in Mexico.  From that race, the following: 

Hours behind the runner in front of him, the last marathoner finally entered Olympic stadium. By that time, the drama of the day’s event was almost over and most of the spectators had gone home. This athlete’s story, however, was still being played out.

Limping into the arena, the Tanzanian runner grimaced with every step, his knee bleeding and bandaged from an earlier fall. His ragged appearance immediately caught the attention of the remaining crowd, who cheered him on to the finish line.

When asked why he stayed in the race and what made him endure his injuries to the end, he replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles away to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it!’”

I thought about how this might apply to us on many levels. From our daily walk and the temptation to give in to situations and people around us.  To finding the perseverance that moves us through the ups and downs of our life’s journey.  Finally, it points to the message of staying the course in our spiritual life.  Knowing the finish line lies ahead and that we were not sent here to simply start the race, but to finish it! 

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

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