Have you heard about the fastest man in the world? Usain Bolt, a track and field hero from Jamaica, is the fastest man to ever lace up his track cleats. In 2009, Bolt ran the 100 meter dash in 9.58 seconds. 9.58 seconds! I can't even tie my shoes in 9.58 seconds, much less run 100 meters! Bolt's name suits him very well.
However, last week at the world championships in South Korea, Bolt's speed was his downfall. Bolt "bolted" out of the block too early, disqualifying him from the race. Bolt refused to discuss the disqualification with reporters, but as they followed him around the track, he finally turned and gave these few words, "Looking for tears? Not going to happen."
The Bible is very clear that Christians are running a race. I guess we could say that Christians won't be disqualified for beginning the race too early, but we will be disqualifed for ending the race too soon. We can't quit until we cross the finish line.
I admire Bolt's maturity and confidence to say, "Yes, I was disqualified, but I won't shed a tear." However, if we're disqualified from our "race", we will weep bitterly, and the tears will keep falling for all of eternity. By the grace of God, may we echo the words of the apostle Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness..." (2 Timothy 4: 7-8)
Keep running; finish the race; wear the crown!