Zechariah 4:9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you”
Yesterday we spoke about the power to continue but there is yet another very important ingredient to have in the race of life and that is the power to finish whatever we start.
Continuing is good but the best is to finish. To finish is to complete the race. As a matter of fact trophies and accolades are not given to people that start and continue, they are only given to finishers. Even though you cannot finish without starting and continuing, until you cross the finishing line you won’t have the privilege of being celebrated.
Permit me to share the story of John Stephen Akhwari with you. He was born in 1938 in Mbulu, Tanganyika, Tanzania. He was a former marathon runner who represented Tanzania in the marathon at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. He didn’t win the race, he came last but was celebrated world wide not because he started and continued but because he finished the race albeit he came last. His story was one of the highlights of that Olympics event.
While competing in the marathon in Mexico City, Akhwari cramped up due to the high altitude of the city. He had not trained at such an altitude back in his country. At the 19 kilometer point during the 42 km race, there was jockeying for position between some runners and he was hit. He fell badly, wounding his knee and dislocating that joint plus his shoulder hit hard against the pavement.
He however continued running, finishing last among the 57 competitors who completed the race (75 had started). The winner of the marathon, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia, finished in 2:20:26. Akhwari finished in 3:25:27, when there were only a few thousand people left in the stadium, and the sun had set.
To be continued…
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