“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)
Super Bowl XXVII and the Dallas Cowboy are beating the Buffalo Bills as the game winds down. Buffalo fumbles the ball on the Dallas 35 yard line. Big ‘ol (6’ 6”, 287 lbs. of him) Leon Lett, the Cowboy tackle scoops up the ball. He lumbers to the endzone ready to score his first career touchdown! And then he begins to celebrate prematurely. He holds the ball outstretched for all the world to see. Don Bebee saw it – the Buffalo receiver ran it down, knocked it out of Lett’s hands at the one yard line, and Buffalo had the ball once again.
An embarrassing memory for us old Cowboy fans. But a great lesson for all of us.
The key in this Christian walk of ours isn’t a great start, but a great finish. Paul would tell Timothy with a bit of well-placed pride at the end of the Apostle’s life, “I’ve finished the race.” The author of Hebrews would encourage us, “Run the race marked out before you.”
Samson, the judge we’ll meet in this week’s “Broken Heroes” sermon series, is the Leon Lett of the judges. He’s the only judge we’re told was chosen by God before his birth…which was itself a miracle. He has EVERY spiritual advantage to be a great hero of the faith on par with Moses and Joshua. But we’ll read that he only “begins” to deliver Israel. At the end of his life, the nation is only partially saved.
Samson has a great start, but he doesn’t finish. He fumbles on the one. He gets sidetracked by show-boating.
I’m praying this week for God’s empowerment and endurance in life…that you’ll keep running the race. Don’t drop out. Don’t get sidetracked. Finish well, friends.