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If I had to choose between my wife and my putter... well, I’d miss her.

Gary Player

Finishing the race

I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

This verse stood out for me partly because of the reference to a race! I watch a lot of races so the image works well for me. It goes without saying that you cannot win unless you finish. In the race walk in the GB trials this year, a girl was in second place for most of the race but was then DQed almost at the end. All her excellent work came to nothing as she did not finish the race. Sometimes in a distance race someone tries to break the field with a fast lap – great if it works but if you use up too much energy and cannot finish well, then it was a wasted effort.

In his recent book, Manchester United legend, Roy Keane, tells how he worked with a sports psychologist to reduce the number of red cards he was receiving. He describes how the psychologist said that his first aim each week should be to remain on the field for 90 minutes.

I love the story of the Kenyan pace maker in a Diamond League race a few years ago who did not drop out but kept on running to the finish and won the race!

Several places Paul speaks and writes about finishing well. It is always sad when Christians lose their faith and fall away or even get distracted from the main thing. Paul is clear that he will finish his race which is “the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace”. You are probably not a great preacher evangelist like Paul, but you too have a part to play in testifying to the good news of God’s grace as you interact with friends, colleagues and opponents.

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