Why is it so important to be in great shape to compete in athletics? Obviously you want to be able to finish strong in the game. Yet it is not just about finishing strong physically; it is also about the mental part of the game. Many think the first thing to go on an athlete is his legs. That is not entirely true. When the body starts to fatigue, the brain is the first thing that starts acting up. That is why there are so many dumb plays toward the end of games.
Last week I talked about my wife’s grandfather that passed away at the ripe old age of 100. He truly left an incredible legacy in his wake. The biggest part of that legacy involved his commitment to studying the Scriptures (or spiritually staying in shape.)
[Psalm 119: 15 I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. 16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.]
As he wore down physically it appeared that he followed the formula I mentioned earlier. When people would visit during the days he often appeared disoriented – his mind was going. Yet it turns out that this man was in such incredible “shape” that in the middle of the nights he was waking up and sharing his faith with the staff at the home (even during his final week on earth!)
We live in a church society that is unfortunately not in great “shape.” In general the church tends to fit the description in 2 Timothy 4 of those that wanted their ears tickled. Yet we have an example in Lisa’s grandfather that follows the admonition found in 2 Timothy 4.
2 Timothy 4:5-8 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (NIV)
I think this is the perfect description of Guy Hopkins and also challenge to us. What are you leaving in your wake? What will your legacy be?
Run hard and finish strong!