Monday, April 22, 2013

Fearing the Finish Line

Something struck me today, as I read updates on the Boston Marathon tragedy. I saw that the London Marathon was dedicating their race to Boston, which was really nice.

But then I wondered - how can any runner ever cross a finish line again without at least flinching?

Seemed a fitting analogy for me today.

I don't know a lot about literal races, besides a few flashbacks of elementary-school-field-day terror. ::snort:: Those afternoons were more full of anxiety than adrenaline! When it was my turn, I would panic. I hated being in front of everyone, passing a baton or hopping in a potato sack or carrying a spoon on an egg. I mean, really, how is that fun or anything but torture for a shy first grader?

At least there were sno-cones after.

I don't know a lot about literal races, other than to avoid them because a runner, I am not. But I do know (especially lately) a little bit about this race of life Paul mentioned in the Bible.

2 Timothy 4:7 says "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

I want that. But not feeling it today.

I'd imagine there's a lot of runners out there who are tempted to give up. Whose muscles cramp and whose sides split into spasms and whose heads throb. Runners who feel like they're never going to make it across, feel like the end will never arrive, feel like victory is always another quarter mile out of reach.

And now, there are very real runners out there who have to deal with the finish line not even being a safe place to reach.

Isn't that just like the enemy -- to make us afraid of the finish line?

Let that sink in for a minute, and then let it determine how you're going to respond. I'm working on it too, don't worry.

He wants to steal our victory. In any way he can. He wants to make The End seem like another threat, rather than a glorious finish. But for believers in Christ, it's so much more than we can ever imagine. The very definition of "good".

Right now, my side hurts. I have shin splints and a headache and muscle cramps. The finish line looks ages away, so far away I might as well just collapse right here and close my eyes.

But where is the victory in that?

There's not any..

And that the very reason all these professional runners are running in London and the same reason most if not all of the Boston runners will continue to race as soon as they can. Because NO ONE is going to steal the victory from them.

Is our (yours, mine?) attitude the same about our race? Are we going to let the enemy steal the victory?

Paul made it successfully across his finish line, without flinching.

Will you?

Will I?


  1. Great reminder! We have to remember that in our Christian "race" we have Jesus right there with us, cheering us on. He said he would never leave us or forsake us. He is for us.
    And, think about this - satan has already lost. Though we might be a little battered along the way, we win. Check the end of the Book. Assured victory - what other race can give you those odds?
    Keep your eyes on the prize - we're gonna make it!

  2. I've been there before--the enemy trying to talk me out of finishing well. This is such a great post. Racers will continue to race no matter what. Like surfers who experience shark attacks get back in the water. It always blows my mind. You're so right, though. We can't stop. Loved this!