First Christian Church | Pittsfield


Finish Strong

05.05.22 | Michael's Corner | by Michael Ten Eyck

    Church Family,

    “Finish strong!”  I have repeated these words yearly to my kids as they entered their final exam weeks at college.  Although it is an obvious reminder, it is one that I cannot help myself from repeating.  Whether it be academics, sports, or simply completing a project, the manner in which we finish is of vital importance. How we finish can be the difference between success and failure.

    I remember watching a video of a college race where the frontrunner had entered the home stretch with a commanding lead over his closest competitor.  Rather than continue to give his best effort through the finish line, a smile replaced the grimace on his face as his pace slowed and he raised his hands in assumed victory.  As you can imagine, this premature celebration was short-lived as a competitor passed him in the last few steps of the race to steal the win.  What should have been an easy and decisive victory became an enduring moment of humiliation. 

    While not many of us are actually running physical races, the analogy still proves true in many areas of life. When we cease fully committing ourselves to the cause, we can lose our race.  When we don’t see something through to completion it can fall apart towards the end. 

    Heb 12:1-4

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  -ESV

    A good athlete knows the importance of training, rest, recovery, diet, and commitment, yet all of these things are for not if commitment is cast off in the home stretch.  

    1 Cor 9:24-27

     Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. ESV

    We are living in what scripture calls the last days.  Let us run our race with a commitment to “finish strong!”  

    Loving you all,