SCRIPTURE: John 19:30 (NIV)
Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit.
What a neat idea … to win if our torch is still lit! What an idea to keep ever before us. We live in a world that is all about winning and getting ahead. It is a world where only our view/idea matters. It is a crazy world that seems to require us to respond, sometimes strongly, if we disagree with someone else … as in, we’ve got to convince them that they are wrong and we have more knowledge, insight or truth on our side. In all of this we might “finish” but will our torch still be lit?
When Jesus’ came to the end he was faithful to his purpose. He had held true to the course that was set before him as he began to walk through his ministry on earth. He never wavered, never strayed, never abandoned his God given reason for being here on earth. In short, his torch was still lit.
What knocks us off course? What causes us to compromise our ethics, morals and/or purpose? What steers us in the wrong direction? Oh, it might be necessary to make mid-course corrections. That is normal and should be expected. When Jesus was going up into the mountains to be alone and pray … he was making sure he was still on course, still doing the Father’s will, still running with his torch lit. All we need to do is follow his example and when our journey here on earth is over and the “it is finished” bell is rung for us we too shall discover that our torch will still be lit and we will have won!
Running the race is hard, Lord. We get knocked about. Fatigue sets in. Our “arms” gets tired holding the torch. Others judge us, make fun of us, and threaten us. It is so tempting to respond in the heat of the moment … after all, it is all about winning … so we think. Remind us that it is more important to keep our torch lit.
QUOTE by William Cllubertson:
It is important to start right, but it is imperative to end well.