Think a minute…Watching the Olympics can be both inspiring and heartbreaking. We watch and feel both the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat”. This is especially true when the world’s greatest athletes, who have worked so hard for so long, lose by only a fraction of a second! Even with all their years of daily discipline and tough training, they still must finish well! Almost winning does not count. No one is rewarded and remembered for what they almost did.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, both the U.S. men’s and women’s 400-meter relay teams learned this the hard way. Both teams ran well for most of the race, but then near the end they dropped the baton and failed to finish. One of them, Tyson Gay, who was the 2007 world champion in both the 200 and 100-meter dashes, left the Olympics empty-handed with not even a single medal. He can tell you about the agony of not finishing well!
In 2003, after 22 years of exploration, the Space Shuttle Columbia went on its 28th mission, this time with seven astronauts on board. They were on a 16-day journey into space to conduct important experiments. Everything went well and they achieved their goals, so they returned to earth from their successful mission. They were just 16 minutes from landing…when suddenly the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded! Only tiny pieces were left of what was one of history’s most powerful, advanced machines and masterpieces of engineering. But the even greater tragedy was the sudden loss of those seven brave and brilliant astronauts. They came so close, only 16 minutes from home, but they did not make it.
It’s not how you start but how you finish that ultimately determines everything. In the most important matters of life and death, right and wrong, “almost” does not count. You have to finish well. If you let yourself be distracted or detoured, even just a little, it can end up destroying you permanently. Don’t wait another minute. Won’t you ask Jesus to take charge of your heart and daily way of living? He made it crystal clear that if you truly love Him, you will wholeheartedly live His way every day. Only then, with His help and power, can you be sure you will live well and finish well. Just think a minute…