Life, so we are told, is a marathon and not a sprint.
As his time on earth was drawing to a close, the apostle Paul told his friend Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Often when we think about these words it’s in the context of the end of our lives. As I write an elderly relative is waiting to “go home”. She’s lived her life, run her race and now awaits the glory of the life to come.
The Olympic games recently reminded us that it’s not how we start that counts, but how we finish. Perhaps this was demonstrated most starkly by the British diver and gold medal prospect, Tom Daley. In the preliminary round of the 2016 men’s 10m platform Daley left the rest of the field trailing with his phenomenal score of 571.85. By the time the semi-finals came round his form seemed to have evaporated, managing only 403.25 he came in last and did not make it to the final.
It’s likely that, like me, you don’t think you’re particularly close to the end of your time here on earth. So how do we take this in the context of our every day life?
Perhaps the challenge for us here is not to think of the lofty and somewhat abstract terms of “finishing our life well” but to bring it closer to home, closer to now. How can I finish today well?
Long-term goals are great if they lead us to short term targets. No athlete expects to claim the gold medal unless they have trained well consistently. Every author knows the book will never be written unless they write every day. Professionals show up whether they feel like it or not.
What are the things that distract you, resisting you in achieving your goals? Don’t worry about tomorrow; make it your aim to defeat the resistance today. If you live each day well the final outcome will be a life lived well.
So, finish well today.