I Came to FINISH

As we pray today let’s ask God to truly remind us what our purpose is here on earth. We are here to glorify God with our lives, lived in a way that shines his light to a lost and dark world. But sometimes, I’m afraid that I/you have gotten our priorities all mixed up. We are living like this is some kind of competition and that our purpose is to beat someone else in the game of life. We are stressing because we think that we need more stuff than someone else. We need to look better physically than someone else. That our job is to continue to climb the ladder of success to reach the top and then find out that this wasn’t what we really wanted then along the climb we lose our family and our health. Life isn’t about what we get along the way, it’s about how we live to glorify God. That’s really all that God has asked us to do. One of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the Olympic Games wasn’t even a finish for first place. It was in 1968, the Olympic’s that year was in Mexico City, Mexico. The marathon is the final event on the program. That day the stadium was full for this last event and there was excitement in the air for what proved to be a historical event. After a little over 2 hours the first athlete to enter the stadium was an Ethiopian runner. The crowd erupted with applause as he crossed the finish line. But way back, I mean way back, was another runner. His name was John Stephen Akwhari of Tanzania. He had in the very beginning of the race been eclipsed by the other runners. Somewhere after the 30 kilometer mark, his head began to throb and his muscles began to ache more than they had in any of his training runs. He felt weak and finally fell to the ground. He hurt his leg and knee seriously but he was determined to get up and run. A medical team bandaged him up and he continued his run to finish the marathon. With 12 kilometers left, officials came to him and asked him to just give up and quit, but he wouldn’t listen to them, he continued his struggle to lift one foot in front of the other. An hour after the first runner had finished the race and the crowd, who had thought that they had seen all the runners, began to file out of the stadium, they heard the sound of sirens. Sirens warning the officials inside the stadium that there was still one more runner to enter the stadium and finish their last lap there. Those who were left stopped filing out and stopped to watch the dramatic scene play out before their eyes. Entering the stadium, broken and bleeding John Steven Akwhari came limping in to finish that last lap. When he crossed the finish line there was a roar from the stadium that was 10 times louder than the cheering that went on for the winner of the marathon. The crowd stood and cheered and encouraged this young man to finish his quest and to not give up. Later that evening when asked by reporters why he didn’t quit, why did he go on, his answer was as historic as his race. He looked at the reporter and simply answered: “My country did not send me to start the race, they sent me to finish the race.” WOW! God didn’t simply ask us to show up in life, he asked us to live our lives so that the world could see his power in our lives. Meaning that we are going to have to expect to get knocked down sometimes, abandoned by people, betrayed and have people turn away from us. We will have to face disease and health problems and sometimes it’s going to be colder than we could ever imagine. But God didn’t ask you to outdo anyone else, He simply asked you to glorify His name in your life – through the bad and the good.

Published by advicefromyourunclerobin

Robin is a Pastor, has been for 40 years. He is married to Jayme and together they have 7 children. Candace, Courtney, Cassidy, Caleb, Kally, Collin & Jacob. Robin & Jayme have great and awesome grandchildren. He loves his Webb City Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals. He also tries to go golfing and fly fishing whenever he can - but not nearly enough.

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