Recent events are reminding me that not only are we running the race which God laid out before us to run (Hebrews 12:1-2) but that we need to keep the finish line in mind and in sight. Those of us in Christ know from this passage that not only was Christ the one Who put us onto this race course but also caused us to start the race, raced along with us and awaits us at the finish line.
A few weeks ago, I participated in a 5K walk in nearby Utica, Michigan. It was my third 5K walk in the last three months. I really wanted to do well (that is, to set a new personal best time). To help me along the way, I used the stopwatch on my wristwatch to indicate the elapsed time at certain mile markers along the way. In working the numbers later on, I found that the pace on the first mile was remarkably fast for me. The second mile was a bit slower but still much faster than my average pace. It was, however, between mile markers 2.0 and 2.6 that I really slowed down. Without other landmarks to use, I didn’t realize at the time how much I had slowed down.
However, at mile marker 2.6, the large structure for the finish line was directly down the street in front of me, half a mile away. When I calculated my speed from that point to the finish line, I found that my pace significantly increased. I completed the race with a personal best time, 32 seconds faster than my last race.
I didn’t realize it at the time but seeing the finish line gave me a focus to complete the race and do it with strength. I think we can compare this to what we have in life’s journey. The finish line is Christ. At a time in my life when I know that I have fewer years on Earth in front of me than behind me, I want to encourage all of us in Christ to finish strongly.
Recently, I read a passage from Psalm 92 that goes along with these reflections on finishing strong. I pray this would be true of all of us:
They flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
Psalm 92:13-15 (English Standard Version)