20 Yards Left

“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, 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.” Hebrews 12:1-2

On March 6, 1987, Eamon Coughlan, the Irish world record holder at 1500 meters, was running in a qualifying heat at the World Indoor Track Championships in Indianapolis. With only two and a half laps left, he was tripped. He fell, but got up, and managed to catch the leaders.

Coughlan had only 20 yards left in the race. He was in third place, which was good enough to qualify for the finals. He looked over his shoulder to the inside, and, seeing no one, let up. Another runner, running hard on the outside, passed Coughlan a yard before the finish, eliminating him from the finals. Coughlan’s comeback was rendered worthless by taking his eyes off the finish line.

As we run this race for Christ, the Bible tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus is the “founder” or “originator” of our faith. That means that He is the one who started us on the race, by His grace saving us and setting a race before us. He is also the “perfecter” of our faith. That means that He not only waits for us at the finish line, but – because He is everywhere – also is with us as we run, ensuring our success and completion of the race. The key to staying in the race and running with success is keeping our eyes on Him.

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!