Weekly Bread from the Pastor’s Table
FINISH THE RACE
Mary had been practicing and exercising for the County Annual Ten Mile Run for the past year. She had pushed herself to the physical limits, often crawling home from physical exhaustion. Her biggest fan and “cheerleader”, and probably the one person who thought she could win was her little sister Sharon.
Every morning Sharon would position herself along Mary’s practice route and would shout “RUN MARY RUN,” as she passed along the route. Mary would ignore her little sister and tell her… “Please I am trying to concentrate and focus.”
The day finally arrived. All the runners took their places at the starting line. The atmosphere was charged with excitement; people cheering in anticipation of the long awaited annual race. The announcer shouted…”on your mark… get set…
GO…! All the running took off pacing themselves to complete this ten mile run as the people shouted and cheered.
Mary found herself lagging behind the runners and the harder she ran the further behind she became. She began to pace herself focusing and running. She felt her leg began to cramp… and lagged even further behind. It appeared that Mary was running in last place. Finally she stopped to catch her breath. She began to feel defeated and thought “I’ll never finish this race”. As she focused on the route marker she knew she had two miles remaining to finish the race. The people along the route were beginning to disperse as Mary slowed to a power walk in an effort to make it to the finish line. Discouraged Mary stopped, put her hands on her knees and said to herself, “What’s the use… this race is over!”
Suddenly Mary heard a small voice… as she stood up she could see in the distance her little sister. There was Sharon waving her cheerleading flag… jumping up and down and shouting… “RUN MARY RUN”… “GO MARY GO”…
Above Sharon’s head was the FINISH LINE BANNER!!!
Mary found a bust of energy and began to run towards the finish line… There was no crowd… no judges… Just Sharon cheering like crazy! As she crossed the finish line Sharon leaped for joy and began to do the victory dance! Suddenly Sharon pulled a trophy from her backpack and handed it to her sister and with the big smile said… “MARY YOU WON”!
It was this day that Mary understood that the race is not always given to the swift, nor to the strong, but to he who endureth to the end!
Christ our Savior came to redeem us and to show us the way to endure and stay in the race to the very end! He is our deliverer, our strength, our encourager, our bridge over troubled water, our joy in time of sorrow and in time of wanting to give up, he is our peace and strong tower. If we stay in the race we will one day here his voice… “Well done my good and faithful servant… enter in”…Today I simply say…
STAY IN THE RACE … CROSS THE FINISH LINE!
Scripture for the week:
“For the race is not given to the swift, not to the strong, but to he who endureth to the end” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
JUST KEEP RUNNING … NEVER GIVE UP… YOU CAN MAKE IT…!