What Happened Along the Way

The finish line is the end of the race or course. It’s accomplishing the ultimate goal. Job completed. Mission accomplished. Promise realized. It’s the pinnacle of the mountain. I made it. The end.finish line

Because I have yet to reach this finish line, my eyes are fixated on it. But after I reach it, then what?

The person I was at the beginning of the course won’t be the same person at the end.

If all I focus on is the end, I miss the times when I was so discouraged I almost let go.

I was ready to tap out, then just when I thought I had gone as far as I could go, the Lord renewed my strength and encouraged me. It was like I made a pit stop and got four new tires and a full tank of gas.pexels-photo-918795.jpeg

If I just focus on the end, I forget all the people I encountered on the wayside who, for whatever reason, didn’t stay the course.

Many of them were hurt, bitter, and disheartened. They lined the side of the road discouraging other travelers, other runners. They no longer believed, so they tried to dissuade others in their faith. Sometimes their arguments were so convincing I stumbled. But the victory is despite my stumbling and tumbling, God kept me and I continued the course.

If I just focus on the end, I’ll forget how God steered me away from pitfalls and traps.

And the ones I got caught in, He got me out of.  Those were hard times. Some of those traps were so great, the pitfalls so deep, I didn’t believe I’d make it out. I may have come out  with a limp, some wounds and bruises, but I did come out. Not everyone makes it out the pit.

I can’t forget how treacherous the road became. Much was lost along the way. I had to learn to travel light. Some things I had to let go because it would have just weighed me down. I fell among robbers and lost some precious cargo. The loss was so great, and my heart so heavy, finishing the race no longer appealed to me. The road was so dark the finish line was nowhere in sight. Then God showed up, picked up my fragmented heart, lighted the path, and gave me the will and the courage to go on.

And if I focus on the end, I’ll overlook the strangers who helped me along the way, the ones who cheered and rooted for me.

silhouette of four people against sun background
Photo by Dennis Magati on Pexels.com

I’ll forget the ones I comforted and supported. Thank God for the camaraderie among fellow runners.

I lived a whole life of ups and downs travelling down the road to promise, destiny, purpose, achievement. The person I’ll be at the finish line is a result of all I went through to get there. Healing took place on the road. So did growth and development. I changed on the way to the finish line. So the finish line is not the real blessing to me; the road to get there is.

If I just focused on that special moment when I cross the finish line, I believe I will be sorely disappointed. It is indeed a joyous occasion to get to the end of a thing, to receive my crown or reward, but the end is just that–the end. It doesn’t make me a winner. I became a winner on the road. By the time I get to the end, I would’ve already won. That’s how I got there.

–D.L. Lunsford

D.L. Lunsford

Saying a lot with few words.

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