I once read about a Tanzanian athlete who caught the attention of the whole world in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. He took part in the 26 miles marathon race, but, came last! He was very tired, and in obvious discomfort toward the end of the race, but he refused to give up. Instead, he pressed on regardless till he reached the finish line around 7.00 p.m., when the stadium was virtually empty. And the few spectators that remained in the stadium at that time were spellbound by his raw determination to finish the race, and they rose up in unison, and applauded him enthusiastically. By his action, the athlete drew good attention to himself and his country, and gained the applause of an appreciative world.
Immediately after the race, a journalist asked him why he did not abandon it, since he was tired and injured, and had no chance of winning it anyway. And his succinct, but patriotic response was, “My country did not send me 7000 miles to start the race but sent me 7000 miles to finish it.” That is, he was not content with beginning the race alone; he was also determined to finish it, and he did so gloriously.
This should be the attitude of everyone to the races of life, including the Christian race. Not only should we begin them, we should make every effort to finish them very well as well. Today, the winner of that particular race has been forgotten, but, the action of that courageous African athlete is still firmly engraved in the minds of those who witnessed his moment of glory.
May the good Lord help us to finish our individual Christian race on earth very well, and afterwards, may we be good enough to earn our places with Him in Heaven, in Jesus name. Amen.
Culled from the book “About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies” by Dr Stoney