Finishing The Race

October 12, 2013

Here is an old story worth retelling.

By 7 p.m. on October 20, 1968, at the Mexico City Olympics Stadium, it was beginning to darken. It had cooled down as well.

The last of the Olympic marathon runners were being assisted away to first-aid stations. Over an hour earlier, Mamo Waldi of Ethiopia had charged across the finish line, winning the 26-mile, 385-yard race looking as strong and as vigorous as when he’d started. As the last few thousand spectators began preparing to leave, they heard police sirens and whistles through the gate entering the stadium.

The attention turned to that gate. A sole figure, wearing the colors of Tanzania, came limping into the stadium. His name was John Steven Aquari. He was the last man to finish the marathon in 1968.

His leg was bandaged, bloody. He had taken a bad fall early in the race. Now, it was all he could do to limp his way around the track.

The crowd stood and applauded as he completed that last lap.

When he finally crossed the finish line, one man dared ask the question all were wondering. “You are badly injured. Why didn’t you quit? Why didn’t you give up?”

Aquari, with quiet dignity said, “My country did not send me seven thousand miles to start this race. My country sent me to finish.”

This material taken from Craig Brian Larson in his preaching material entitled “Strong to the Finish,” talks to us in many ways.

  • I have seen many business people start out a given task, excited with the project and really got to a very impressive start but could not sustain it and only to die a very inglorious death.
  • I have seen employees filled with great excitement and enthusiasm as they joined the new company. Only to become mediocre over time without any effort at all to develop himself and add more value to the company of his employment.
  • I have seen lovely couples in a lovelier wedding only to endure their loves in a lousy marriage because they do not know how to sustain the fire of their relationship.
  • And here the story worsens. I have seen people start out their spiritual life with a fiery passion – in love with the Lord Jesus Christ only to slide back to the enticement of the world.
  • I have seen religious leader who understood that their calling is special and now have slid back to pursue the things that this world value.

IN the final analysis, whether we talk about spirituality, business, career or even family life…the issue is not starting out strong but finishing well.

Life is not a 100 meter dash. It is a marathon.

God didn’t just send you to start this race.

He didn’t just send you to begin a noble task or a noble relationship.

God sent you both to start and to finish.

Fan that flame that is within you.

Go home and be faithful to your family.

Go to your work place and work as if this is the first day on your job and you can’t wait to learn and contribute to your company.

Be excellent at all times and in everything you do.

Join a group of people or join a church that faithfully teaches the Word of God.

Pray that God would once more give you the passion for the things of God.

Life is short. Don’t waste it. Make sure you finish well.




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