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Friday, 18 August 2017



It always sounded like a bad joke. When I was in high school, we had to do a series of physical fitness tests President Kennedy introduced to make sure young folk were keeping fit and not getting obese. Sounds kind of current, eh?

The tests ranged from doing as many sit-ups as you could in a set time (I think it was a minute or so), press-ups, 50-yard-dash, throwing the softball as far as you could, and the one I hated the most, the long-distance run. I think it was 660-yards, which doesn’t sound so far but I don’t like running, unless it’s on a tennis court after a tennis ball. It was so competitive. With my PE class standing on the sidelines and the teacher with the stop watch, it was further than I wanted to run, and certainly I didn’t want to be timed! 

Reaching the home stretch, the cries would go up from friends and classmates, ‘Sprint!’ I always felt my lungs would collapse, or my legs would turn to jelly and give way, and I never seemed to be able to dig deep enough for that final burst of speed. Reaching the finish line would be enough for me: I didn’t care about the time.

The Bible advises that if we are to run our life’s race with endurance, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. He was able to go to the cross because his focus was on God and the joy of reunion with his Father. Sometimes a season of life is like a long-distance run. If there is a finish line in sight, those last yards can seem to stretch forever and demand our last ounces of strength. Never mind a burst of speed; we just need to cross the line. It can help to have friends encouraging from the sidelines, but sometimes it’s enough to know they are praying you over the finish line. 

Praying for those today who are nearing the finish line.

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