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"there has only ever been one perfect man, the Lord Jesus, and we killed him. I only missed a putt."

Berhard Langer on the 1991 Ryder Cup

To the end

I recently re-read the story of marathon runner, John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico he was injured in a fall early in the race. He kept going and limped across the finish line an hour after the winner saying, "My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race".

It is a powerful story with applications to all of life. As sportspeople we understand the importance of persevering to the end. How many games or races are decided in the last minute?

The Bible too has much to say about perseverance. For example

"To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations" Revelation 2:26

"We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first". Hebrews 3:14

It may seem trite to paraphrase Akhwari to say that Jesus did not die for us to begin the Christian life but to carry on to the end - but it is true nonetheless.

Let us be inspired in every aspect of our lives by the example of John Stephen Akhwari, "My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race."

Stuart Weir



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