Maintain Your Vigilance

We all love to watch the occasional fail video, don’t we? What started years ago on primetime television has migrated to YouTube and become one of our beloved pastimes. Some of my favorites are “finish line fails,” compilations of athletes celebrating just a bit too soon.

In one of these finish line fails, an Olympic runner is nearing the end of his race, still going at a tremendous pace. He has swept around the final turn and is now just 15 or 20 meters from the finish line. Convinced that he has an insurmountable lead, he slows his pace, raises his arms in victory, and coasts toward the tape, savoring the adulation of the roaring crowd. But he has failed to keep a watchful eye on the competition, and another runner is far closer than he thinks. This second place runner sees his opportunity. Digging deep, he summons a last reserve of energy and surges forward. Just a step from the finish line he pushes past to claim the gold, an inch ahead of the careless runner.

As a Christian man, you are running the race of life and looking forward to victory. You are running to win! But like that embarrassed and disappointed Olympic athlete, it is imperative that you do not claim victory too soon. He, too, was running to win, but he let up. He neglected to maintain his pace and neglected to watch out for the competitor who was close behind. The arms that were raised in victory were soon forced to collapse in defeat. If you are to be victorious in your race, you must maintain your pace all the way to finish line.

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