Finishing the Race Well
It does not matter how you start a race; at the end of the day, what actually counts is whether you finish it. More than this, it is important to finish well. Tanzanian John Stephen Akhwari participated in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City as a marathon runner. Since he was not accustomed to the high altitude, at about the halfway mark he collided with another runner, which resulted in Akhwari hurting both his knee and shoulder.
Do you think that John stopped? Could you continue running a marathon with an injured knee and shoulder? Limping, walking, and jogging to the finish line? Of the seventy-five who started the race, only fifty-seven finished. Akhwari was number fifty-seven. He crossed the finish line.
When he was asked why he continued the race injured and, in such pain, he answered, “My nation did not send me thousands of kilometers to start a race, but rather to finish the race.”
Unfortunately, this is not always the case with women and men of God. It has been estimated that 70 percent of all leaders, biblically and historically, do not end the race well. These days, we trust that a diploma or degree in leadership, education on the subject, will produce a leader. We could not be further away from the truth. A piece of paper is worth nothing without the substance of character to go with it!
We are in desperate need of a leadership awakening. We have to become aware of the forces that war against Christian leaders, as well as God’s powerful resources given to us to live in victory. My aim all through this devotional is to provoke your own thoughts about what it takes to become a leader who lasts, who runs until the finish line, and who finishes well.
Let us get ready to run a race with the confidence of knowing that if we build our lives on the proper foundations, we will not have to fear how our story will end. So that we will be able to confidently declare, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
I truly hope that all through this devotional your life will be marked by God’s goodness and mercy, until that glorious day in which you will not only arrive at the finish line but also leave a lasting legacy for a new generation of champions that will truly honor the name of Jesus.
Are you living your Christian life on earth in such a way that your words and deeds are leaving a lasting legacy for those who follow? Think about how you would like your wife, spouse, children, classmates, colleagues, and people in general to remember you.