When I was in high school, I ran track my senior year. It was my first and only year of track and frankly, I wasn’t that good. I realized quickly that God didn’t make me for the 100. Yet, finally near the end of the season, I began to find my niche in the 800.
I’ll never forget one particular race. It was the qualifier for the Regional Meet. I lined up for the 800, and when the gun fired, I took off with incredible speed. I quickly jumped out in front of everyone, and for 600 meters, I was setting a pace that no one could keep…not even me! As I reached the last 100 meters, I started to gas out. I was getting passed by almost everyone. I finished…but in 6th place. Only the top 4 got to advance.
It was a great lesson that carries into all aspects of life. Sometimes we start quickly. We jump out to an early lead.
Maybe we get a great start on a career, and we invest 70-80 hours per week because the potential for advancement is there.
Maybe we jump into a ministry and immediately see success. That motivates us to push even harder.
As much as we might impress ourselves or others who are watching our race, I’m not sure that our quick start impresses God as much. Perhaps God is more interested in how we finish.
Paul said it this way in 2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Too many pastors leave the ministry each month because they can’t sustain the pace.
Too many career oriented men are losing their families because they give their company everything.
Too many people experience mental breakdowns because they care more about the success of others over what God thinks.
I want to finish well. I want to finish with my family. I want to finish with my faith intact. And I want the same thing for you.
What do you need to change so that you can finish well?
Do you need to be in better physical shape?
Do you need to cut back your hours at the office?
Do you need to limit your spending so you can make it financially?
God didn’t make us for the 100. He made us for the 800. Let’s finish well.