Well here it is Saturday again and another week has flown by. However, I’m thankful that I’m no longer having to work those strange hours. Everything seems to be getting back to normal except for the weather. The weather remains quite a mystery as to why it is so warm in the middle of February. The forecast for the coming week is more of the same. I’m not complaining because I can’t handle the cold like I used to. And I’m certainly not looking forward to when the temperatures may reverse and I’m guessing it will.
Becky and I just got back from the Frosty Inn in Russellville where we each had an old-fashion banana split. You know, the kind that comes in an boat-like container with vanilla ice cream, pineapple topping, cherry topping, chocolate syrup and a whole banana sliced in half lengthwise. And with real walnuts in a syrup mixture that is out of this world. Jealous yet? We go once or twice a year and indulge. Takes a while to get over it though.
Well, let’s get back to the topic from last week. I had mentioned that I had recently heard several friends make the statement that they want to “finish strong” and I began talking about what that means. I pointed out what Paul said in one of his letters to Timothy. He stated that he had fought the good fight, he had finished the race, he had kept the faith. This is an often quoted passage of scripture but I wonder if we really understands what it entails. So let’s take a closer look and set what we find.
First of all, the phrase “I have finished the race” makes it obvious that he started in a race somewhere along the line. As we all know, this happened when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus and from that point on he was involved in the race of his life. As Paul ran his race he encountered numerous trials along the way. These trials turned his race into an obstacle course which slowed him down at times but he never gave up, he never gave in, he just kept running.
From Paul’s witness and example we can derive that in order to finish the race, one must begin the race. Starting the race is certainly a prerequisite to finishing the race. So the first thing to be considered is this: Have we started in the race? Has there been a time in our life that, like Paul, we met Jesus on our Damascus Road? If we haven’t then there is no need to entertain the thought of finishing strong. Once we settle that, we can move on to the other questions of what it really means to finish strong. You can’t finish until you start. Have you started? ….more to come next week.
My prayer is that we all finish strong together!