I just returned from a week long vacation at Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp. It was a necessary separation from the real world to re-align myself and my priorities. One can quickly forget that taking a break can really inspire thoughts and more importantly…BLOG POSTS! There were so many things that raced through my head this week and it helped to have daily chapel time to confirm my thinking.
On Tuesday of last week, Tim Atkins, head pastor at Fountain Community Church, talked about finishing strong. He referenced Gabrielle Andersen-Scheiss, a marathon runner in the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. If you recall, she was the woman who refused to quit and finish the marathon regardless of what her body was telling her. If you ask most people what they remember about that Olympic event, many will say her and how she finished. It was an amazing story of perseverance and great example of finishing what you start.
This is hardly a new way of thinking…
- Begin with the end in mind
- It’s not a sprint but a marathon
- Keep your eyes on the prize
…but we are all guilty of starting something without paying attention to the outcome or end goal.
I began to think about how I want my life to be remembered.
- Devoted follower of Christ
- Devoted husband
- Proud father
As I reminded myself of this, I was able to refocus my energies and my passions in the areas that are important to me. I suppose this is why vacations are truly effective when you take a step back and unplug. Now what becomes important is the path I take to really make a difference in the lives of those around me. My “race” isn’t over yet so I’m not sure how I’m going to finish but I do know my eyes are wide open for opportunities to positively impact my circle of influence.
I’ll leave you with 2 final things. First, Philippians 3:12-14. This is the passage Tim referenced last week. It was great inspiration on not looking back but staying focused on what is ahead of all of us.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Second, I was reminded of the final scene in Tin Cup when Roy McAvoy shot a 12 on the final hole of the U.S. Open. He didn’t win but as Renee Russo’s character pointed out, no one was going to remember who won but they will remember he shot a 12 in the U.S. Open!
That’s what I’ve got for you today. How do you want to finish?