I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. (2 Timothy 4:7 NLT)
In the 1968 Olympic marathon, John Stephen Akhwari represented the country of Tanzania. But Akhwari didn’t win so why is this important? Because of what happened during the race.
Due to the altitude, Akhwari cramped up during the marathon. But that wasn’t the worst part. When he was almost halfway through the race, some of the other runners pushed to get ahead. Akhwari was hit and he fell. He landed hard on his shoulder and dislocated his knee.
But he didn’t stop. He didn’t lie down and wait for help to come. He kept going. He finished last out of the fifty-seven competitors that finished the marathon. By the time he finished there were only a few thousand people left in the stadium. The sun had set, and it was over an hour after the winner had crossed the finish line. Despite being the last runner and being so far behind, Akhwari received a cheer from the remaining crowd.
Later an interviewer asked why he hadn’t quit when he was injured. Akhwari replied, “My country did not send me five thousand miles to start the race; they sent me five thousand miles to finish the race.”
Life is hard. And life as a Christian is doubly hard. There are so many choices to make, so many people to reach out to, and you want to make sure to do what’s pleasing to God. And there’s always the reality of failing and falling and not being able to get up again.
People have started out the race for God and burned out halfway to the finish line. Some have burned out when they were almost to the finish line. They lost hope, lost sight of God, and lost the race.
But God doesn’t want us to merely start well and then give up halfway through. He wants us to finish the race and be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and remained faithful.” No matter how far behind in the race you are, he’s waiting for you at the finish line and cheering you on.
My name’s Danielle Dodge. I’ve found it’s a hard job to summarize fourteen years of life into a small paragraph so I’ll just mention a few things. I’m an avid writer and reader. I love to write young adult fiction/fantasy novels and devotionals. I’m a ballerina, a violinist, an amateur photographer and an amateur horseback rider. I like BIG words, bright colors, cats, and of course, chocolate. And if you didn’t guess already, I’m a born again Christian, follower of Jesus Christ.