7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)
It was at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona that a British sprinter by the name of Derek Redmond took the track. Derek was successful in advancing through the preliminary rounds and lined up for the semi-final race in the 400 meter dash.
Derek was in top physical condition and at the peak of his athletic career. He was a former British record holder and one of the favorites to advance to the finals to compete for an Olympic medal.
The gun went off — Derek fired out of the blocks and positioned himself off the first curve. As he settled onto the backstretch, he heard a pop. A severe hamstring injury immediately dropped him to the ground.
Derek grabbed his leg in excruciating pain and realized that his dream of winning an Olympic medal had fallen to the wayside.
But to everyone’s surprise, Derek got up and began to limp the rest of the race. In that moment, it wasn’t about winning the race, it wasn’t about advancing to the finals, it wasn’t about setting a personal record. It was about one thing: finishing the race!
He was able to make it through the second curve and had 100 meters left in the race. With the pain worsening with every limp, Derek began to cry. As tears rolled down his face, Derek’s father came from the stands, jumped on the track and consoled Derek in his time of need.
Derek’s father grabbed his son’s arm and helped him walk the last 100 meters of the race. They crossed the finish line together and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
We all have our individual races that we must run. We will experience success, but we will also have failures and disappointments. When failure hits, how will you respond? Will you stay on the ground and wallow in defeat, or get up and finish the race?
We all need our second wind to kick in as we attempt to run this race called life. It is important to understand that sometimes our second wind is a brother or sister in Christ to help us in our time of need.
You don’t have to run this race alone. God will place people in your life to help you fulfill your purpose and finish the race. Despite your past failures and current fears, I encourage you to finish what God started in your life.
You will not be satisfied with yourself until you become who God has called you to be and do what God has called you to do.
Finish the race!