[ecko_quote source="2 Timothy 4:7"]I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith [/ecko_quote]
It was a moment that was captured around the world symbolising everything that Olympics should be about, elite athletes performing at the top level while also displaying great sportsmanship. When New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino of United States got tangled and fell to the ground in the 5000m race, you could forgive them for showing signs of frustration. Instead of going their way to finishing the race, they came to each other's aid and helped each other out. Images of Hamblin and D'Agostino helping each other to the finish line were spread all around the world. They were well back in the field and outside the qualifying time. However, the organisers gave them both places in the finals anyway (Source: Rio Olympics 2016: The best moments from the Games of the 31st Olympiad). Although they had not won the race, they have completed it. Those who won the medal in this event were not remembered much, but a lot of appreciation had been given to Nikki and Abbey. They also went on to be included for the best sportsmanship.
Above verse is what we often hear during a funeral service and also most chosen verse inscribed on the headstones of the cemetery. The verse says we have to fight a good fight to keep up our faith. Our disobedient nature is continually pulling us towards unbelief. We as believers have the responsibility to continually focus on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. We must appreciate the word and reflect on what it says. It means to fight a good fight and finish the race. It is our duty to finish the race and know that there is no competition among the believers to win the race. Therefore, with high endurance, we must help each other and ensure to complete the race just like how the above athletes who received more applauses than those who won that race. At the end of our journey, our Lord Jesus Himself is ready to welcome us. Moreover, surely we would hear from Him saying to us “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your Lord (Matthew 25:23)
After faithfully serving the Lord for forty years as missionaries in Africa, Henry Morrison and his wife were returning to New York. As the ship neared the dock, Henry said to his wife, "Look at that crowd. They have not forgotten about us". However, unknown to Henry, the ship also carried President Teddy Roosevelt, returning from a big hunting trip in Africa. Roosevelt stepped from the boat, with great fanfare, as people were cheering, flags were waving, bands were playing, and reporters waiting for his comments, Henry and his wife slowly walked away unnoticed. They hailed a cab, which took them to a one-bedroom apartment which had been provided by the mission board. Henry was disappointed and sinking deeper into depression thinking that the President comes back from a hunting trip, and everybody threw a big party, and he received a tremendous homecoming. We give our lives and faithful service to God for all these many years, but no one seems to care. While he was still thinking, the Lord spoke to him and simply said, ‘But Henry, you are not home yet!’
My dear ones look after each other as we are travellers and pilgrims going to our Lord. As many of our loved ones in recent times have finished their race, I am sure, they are rejoicing with the Lord. The body of Christ is like a spiritual hospital, its members are in various stages of treatment, with the common aim of becoming whole. Therefore, look after your fellow brethren with compassion and provide whatever it is required for them in order to endure this great journey.