Last week, along with about 2,000 others, I ran the Blue Grass 10,000, a 6.2 mile "race" in downtown Lexington. I wasn't running to win; just run to be the best I can be. (I try to stay at the front of the back of the pack!) I've been running now for twelve years and nothing means more to me that finally seeing the finish line. It's what makes all the training and effort worth it. If you're a runner, you know what I mean.
The Apostle Paul was that way too. He talked of "pressing toward the mark," and of "finishing the race" and "winning the prize." The prize, of course, was Heaven, and every believer is running the race to get Home. The unseen things are the things that matter. Our houses, cars, money, even our church buildings will all be gone in a century from now, certainly two...but the things of the Spirit will last forever. And so we press on.
On July 4, 1952, Florence Chadwick tried to swim 21 miles from Catalina Island to the coast of California, something no female had ever done. Millions watched by television. Her mother and brother were alongside her giving encouragement. Another boat was filled with men whose task it was to shoot any sharks that approached.
After sixteen hours the fog was so thick that visibility was zero, and after all that effort, Florence quit, unaware that she was less than one mile from the shore. When asked to explain she said, “I didn’t quit because I was tired, though I am. I didn’t quit because it was cold, though I was. I quit because I just couldn’t see the shore.”
Three months later on a clear day, she came back and tried again. This time she swam it in two hours less than any man had ever done.
My friend, never lose sight of the finish line. It’s all that matters. Hey, I’ll see you there. It will be one great party when we all get Home! I can hardly wait.