This Dachshund intends to FINISH WELL!
Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
I just received a copy of the May issue of Boston magazine. The image on the cover was designed with an assortment of colored pairs of running shoes formed in the shape of a heart. Each pair of shoes represents a participant of the 117th Boston Marathon. No doubt, the cover of this issue will be remembered. No doubt, the finish line at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 will be remembered. The words in the center of the framed photo captured my attention, “We Will Finish the Race.”
After soaking it all in the past three weeks, I was moved to share today’s message. I have never been to Boston, yet it is a “bucket-list” dream for me. Having qualified three times for this elite race–it’s the training and the character developed prior to the finish line that carry the weight for a strong finish. Today, I wanted to share my heart with the following acrostic – F I N I S H.
F – FOCUS
“Never, never, never give up!” (Winston Churchill)
One is not able to finish well without laser focus. Road blocks will always be present. However, a keen eye on the prize will dispel the power of any distraction. When watching clips on television after the first bomb went off, I recognized some Boston Marathon runners a few steps away from the finish were stunned, yet they kept running. Friends–our enemy has a primary goal–to steal, kill, and destroy. We must not get stuck. If we fall, we must get back up and keep running no matter what.
I – IMPROVE
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein)
Don’t become complacent, lest you fall behind. Work on improving with each step you take. Improvement is the catalyst of growth and change. Be open to opportunities and challenges. Trust the Lord to guide you. Strengthen your faith by stretching yourself. Take chances.
N – NAME
A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.(Eccl. 7:1)
In a race everyone has a number. In life everyone has a name. Be known for a good name. Reflect excellent character and Honor His Name in word and action. When you cross the finish line, your name will be remembered. How do you desire for your name to be remembered?
I – IMAGINE
“Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything. (Henry Miller)
Picture yourself crossing the finish line strong. When you become tired and weary, imagine what awaits you at the end. In fact, pray for fresh vision along the way, vision to make the most of each mile marker in life.
S – SERVE
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:10-11)
Serve God and people. We are blessed to be a blessing to others. The joy of running isn’t so joyful without others. Camaraderie is the key to success. We need each other. We were designed for relationship. By loving people and offering a helping hand, we grow in capacities beyond our comprehension.
H – HOPE
“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” (George IIes)
Nothing can be accomplished without hope. Christ is the source of true hope. When we partner with Him in this race called life, we won’t lose hope. As a bonus, we reflect the hope He gives us. Our hope becomes contagious. We become a beacon of hope on the road to the finish line. If we are able to lead others to the finish line with us, we have finished well.
Give me the strength to finish well. There are times when I want to give up. However, I know that you are there to provide the Living Water I need to sustain me along the way to the finish. Give me laser focus so that I won’t lose sight of the prize. Give me the perseverance to improve and grow while not losing vision of what’s most important. Please use me to reflect your likeness, so that when others see me, they see You. Give me the passion to serve others in a way that I may be a beacon of hope to the world.
In Your Precious Name,