I believe our minds are still very fresh on games following the recent Olympics games events in our Country,especially the opening and closing ceremonies in London. Though not everyone of us made it to London but we witnessed the excitng nights full of dignity ,joy and entertainment. The night was full of surprises to everyone,which added our pride to the organisers. I really wondered how long it took them to come up with all these wonderful suprises.
Paul writing to the church of Corinth said;''Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.Paul was very much used to comparing our Christian journey with games perhaps he visited the ampithreater in Corinth and got the bigger picture.
Then Hebrews 12;1-4 says;Therefore, since we are surrouded by such a great cloud of witnesses,let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,let us run with persevearance the race marked for us.Let us fix our eyes on Jesus ,the author and perfecter of our faith. Who for the joy set before him endured the cross,scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin,you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
These words gives us courage and assuarance ,in training one goes through sweat,strain,pain,tears,long time of practice,repeats so as to achieve. We just witness these things especially on the ''super saturday and sunday when the medals kept coming to various Nations.Everyone was very proud with our heroes and heroines ie; Usain Bolt, Rudisha,Kemoli, Jessica Ennies,Dibaba,Kiprotich,and many others including those who didn't won medals but finished. We usually go through these experiences in our heavenly journey and by the help of the Holy Spirit our hope is daily renewed we are daily strengthened to press on. Let me remind you of an event you know;......
The Barcelona Olympics of 1982 provided one of track and field's most exciting moments. Britain's Derek Redmond had dreamed all his life of winning a gold medal in the 400 meters race,and his dream was in sight as the gun sounded in the semi-finals at Barcelona. He was running the race of his life and could see the finish line as he rounded the turn into the backstretch. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain go up the back of his leg. He fell face first onto the track with a torn right hamstring. As medical attendants were approaching ,Derek fought to his feet. ''It was animal instict'' he would say later.
He set out hoping in a crazed attempt to finish the race. When he reached the stretch, a large man in a T-shirt came out of the stands ,hurled aside a security guard and run to Derek,embracing him. It was Jim Redmond, Derek's father. ''You do not have to do this'',he told his weeping son.Yes I do,replied Derek'',well then'',said Derek's father,''we are going to finish together''.And they did, fighting off security men,the son's head sometimes buried in his father's shoulder,they stayed in Derek's lane all the way to the end,as the crowd gazed with amazement.
Derek did not walk away with the gold medal,but he walked away with an amazing memory of a father who, when he saw his son in pain,left his seat in the stands to help him finish the race.He got a real friend when he needed one most. And best of he finished as his will was in the shoulder of a loving father.
That is what God does for us. When we are experiencing pain and we are struggling to finish the race,we can be confident that we have a loving father who won't let us do it alone. He left his place in heaven to come alongside us in the person of his son Jesus Christ.
The Parable of the Sower;Jesus talks about what makes people fail to finish their journey;
....the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts.
....those who believe for a while because there is no root.
.....those who hear,but as they go,they are choked by life's worries,riches and pleasures,and they do not mature.
BUT the seed on the good soil stands for those with noble and good heart who hear the word,retain it,and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8;12-15.We are usually encouraged by the last words of Jesus when he commissioned his disciples on Matthew 28.20 Lo,Iam with you always to the end of the age. AMEN