The Olympics has a very long an illustrious history. Strangely, there have been times when the winner was not the first person to finish. The goal of one particular Greek race was not to come in first but simply to finish the entire race with the torch still lit (J. Stowell, Fan The Flame, Moody, 1986, p. 32).
We are running in a similar race as the ancient Olympians. Our goal is not to get to heaven first or in the most spectacular way but to endure our way to the finish line. A common theme in Scripture is this idea of endurance (James 1:12; Romans 5:3-4; Hebrews 10:36). Paul once said, “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Our goal is simply to make it to the finish line with our fire for the Lord still burning strong.
Unfortunately, there are parts of this life that are trying blow out our spiritual flames. Our flame can be choked out by the worries of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth (Matthew 13:22). If we aren’t well grounded in Scripture, every wind of doctrine can blow us around and away from God (Ephesians 4:15).
It is going to take endurance to finish this spiritual race with our flames still burning. However, those who accomplish this feat will be rewarded with the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).