Watching the Olympics last month I noticed that one of the things that seemed to separate the top athletes from the second place finishers was the way they approached and hit the finish line. Whether it was in the swimming pool and the end was the final wall, or whether it was the line on the track that marked completion of a foot race or whether it was the overhead bar that signalled the finish of the crew (rowing) competition. It seemed that generally the athletes that ran, swam or rowed through the finish at full speed won. A few exceptionally gifted sportsmen were able to let up before the finish and still win, but they could have set greater records if they'd run through the tape. It reminded me of our lives. We tend to think of the end of our physical lives as the finish tape. As we approach that end in our senior years we may tend to slow because we're focused on that line. We don't know exactly when we'll hit the finish, but we may sense it's fairly close. As believers in Jesus and citizens of Heaven I am challenged to rethink the scope of my personal race. If I picture the completion as occurring in Heaven rather than earth I will tend to run through the tape. If I picture the completion as occurring here, I will tend to let up. This morning I am excited about pushing back the finish line deep into the eternal dimension so that I can run hard through the earthly finish!
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.