In all we do we should finish strong. In sports, it’s called having a good fourth quarter. It’s called holding on to the lead or roaring back to take the lead. In a foot race, it’s called legging it out. In any event, we must finish strong.
In a horse race, sometimes the finish comes down to the wire. The fight for the finish down the stretch is the most thrilling part of the race. So it is with the end of the regular season for most sports, especially professional football. So many teams want to go to the playoffs, but only a select few will actually make the cut. So it is with our lives. So many want to “go to the next level,” but not everyone will make the cut.
So finish strong. Every day, every down, every inning, every out, every quarter, every half, every game, every season. Finish strong. Fight to the end. Lean into the tape. Play to the whistle. Run out the out. Keep playing hard even though you’re down by a ton of points. “Don’t be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” You may not have had a strong start, but you can determine to have a strong finish.
Nelson Mandela finished strong. He was in prison for 27 years but he lived for 95. He was a wise and prudent man, and because of his selfless sacrifice God rewarded his faithfulness with length of days. Wisdom has a way of repaying in kind. Proverbs says “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding; . . . Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour” (Proverbs 3:13, 16)
Today, we pause to celebrate the life and mourn the death of a man who finished strong. He fought a good fight; he finished his course; he kept the faith. Let us ever endeavor to do the same.