"I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved his appearing" (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
Yesterday Big Brother's track team had a meet against a local rival. Big Brother told me last week, "To the captain of the team, this meet is the Super Bowl." Both teams were undefeated in the local matches, going into this meet.
But Big Brother's team was handicapped: one of the runners, the captain of the team who competes in at least 3 events per meet, was injured and would not be running. Everyone was sad for him, that he wouldn't get that last chance to prove his strength against this other team, and for the whole team.
Big Brother was asked to run the 400m hurdles (1/4 mile) even though he has never done this in practice. (He ran the hurdles during one meet earlier this season). He doesn't feel very confident about this event, since he has never had the chance to practice, but he agreed to do what was asked of him and he did the best he could.
Track & field is interesting in that it is uniquely an individual AND team sport. Each individual competes not only to defeat an opponent, but also to achieve a new "personal best." In addition, points are awarded to the whole team for first-, second- and third-place finishes.
I was really impressed with the spirit and heart the team showed. They knew they were missing one of their key runners, but the whole team was in the stands, making noise, encouraging each other, and when they competed, they all tried their hardest. They didn't win the meet but they have cause to be proud.
Can we say the same? Do we "fight the good fight" in everything that we do? Do we run our races with all our heart, all our energy, all our strength, with our eyes on the ultimate goal? And if we lost our race, can we do so with dignity, and with renewed resolve that next time we'll do just a little better than our "personal best?"