John Stephen Akhwari ran in the 1968 Olympics representing Tanzania. Akhwari injured himself in the competition, as a result he finished the race an hour after the gold medal winner. After he crossed the finish line, a reporter asked him, “Why didn’t you retire from the race, since you had no chance of winning.” Akhwari looked confused at the reporter’s question. After a pause, he said, “My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race, they sent me here to finish the race.”
But what happens when we fall? No one is perfect, everyone stumbles. So what do we do? We don’t let our failures shatter our faith-we get back up!
With only two laps to go in the 1,000 meters short-track finals at the 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City, Utah, Apolo Anton Ohno made his move and in first place heading for the finish line and a gold medal. He was still in the lead going around the final turn. That’s when it happened. China’s Li Jiajun tried to pass on the outside, but Ohno wouldn’t give any ground. At the same time, Ahn Hyun-Soo, of South Korea slipped to the inside of Ohno trying to edge his way past the American skater, resulting in four skaters crashing.
Steven Bradbury, of Australia, went from last to first to claim the gold medal. Ohno had the presence of mind to get up and stick out his left skate across the finish line to claim second place. He won the Silver medal because he finished the race.
Paul wrote, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23 KJV) Yes, all have sinned, but some sinners, get up after they fall and finish the race, and then can say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;”
Source: Fresh Start Devotionals