Reading through the life of King Solomon today, I was reminded of how important it is to finish well. This realization came as I saw what happened to the king toward the end of his life as he was drawn away from a fully focused relationship with God. “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” (1 Kings 11: 4) Distracted by the things he had allowed into his life, he didn’t finish life fully following the God who had given him so many opportunities.
The idea of finishing well was something I observed last night as I watched America Ninja Warrior. The competitors on this show go through a variety of unbelievable obstacles trying to overcome and finish the course. On this night, only one man completed the course. There were two other men who reached the final obstacle, only to ‘run out of gas’ before they could finish. The two men were interviewed after coming up short and were asked what changes were needed to bring success next time. Their answers were identical: “I need to train more and I need to train harder.”
If I want to finish well as a follower of Jesus, I need to stay in training. It is very easy to get lax in training, to assume that the strength I have always had will always be present. The reality I have learned: Strength is not something that can be stored up, it is something that needs to be continually built up. When a follower takes time to build, we will be ready for whatever comes our way in life and will be able to finish strong.
I suppose that even sad examples like Solomon are beneficial when we can learn from them. I plan to put the time in to training, so I can be ready when the obstacles and challenges come my way. More ideas on training are coming…