Sorry, folks! No time to do a write up this week. Anyone else want to write it for me? Leave a few sentences in the comments saying what this verse means to you and if I get enough of them, I'll make those the write up for this week giving credit to each commenter/author.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
This week I was trying to emulate a design hero of mine, Scott Hill. I did a post about his Animal Alphabet project a while back, but you should also check out his portfolio site. Awesome stuff. He is an absolute wizard with using textures, halftones and giving a design that screen-printed-inks-are-slightly-off look.
Update: Thanks to all the folks who left a comment and helped me write this post! Finally you can all read something other than my rantings. Enjoy!
From Jacob Andrews: It reminds me that enduring in Christian life is about faith, and not works. When we repent of our sins and live as a Christian, we do that as an act of faith that God will give us the strength to resist sin, and will reward us for enduring temptation; and that we can only do that in Christ’s power, and not our own.
From Alex Dixon: To me, this means that life is difficult, and life as a Christian (running the race with endurance, not giving up) more so.
Salvation is the most important thing to hold onto. It doesn’t matter how old you are when you come to faith, but it does matter that you are saved when you die. Race runners receive a medal, but the Christian’s gift is eternal life with God. What could be better than that?
From Cole Novak: When I read this verse I can’t help but hear it in the voice of a runner having just finished a marathon, clearly exhausted from the race, barely slipping the words in between gasps for air. He’s exasperated, but satisfied knowing that all of his hard work wasn’t for nothing. He can look back at all those miles he suffered through and know that they were worth it.
The crappiest thing about this suck-storm of a world we live in is the fact that no matter what we have to keep on living in it. The show must go on. No matter what happens, we have to keep going. I’m a skinny white boy, so the idea of running or fighting for any reason at all sounds like a bad idea, but if there’s some sort of incentive, goal, or a purpose to it, I’ll be much more inclined to suffer through it. That’s what this verse means to me.
Regardless of how badly my legs hurt, how thirsty I am, or how terrible the dog crap I stepped in a half mile back smells I know there’s a purpose to it all. I know that once I reach the finish line I’ll be able to look back at all the pain and suffering and know that it was all worth it.
And I think that’s probably how Paul felt.
From Katie: To me this verse isn’t just about finishing your “race”, because it’s easy to have the faith when you’re done because it’s over, you did it. The hard part is having the faith to keep going in the middle of your race. To have faith in yourself that you can do it. To have faith in God that he doesn’t bring you to things you can’t get through.
This verse says to me to remember how far you have come. Remember how much you have overcome to get to where you are right now. I think that’s one of the best feelings in the world. To have known in your heart that throughout everything, all the bad times, all the times you failed, or felt hopeless, you kept your faith, always, that you would win your race eventually. And that no matter how many times the world told you to just give up, you kept listening to God cheering for you on the sidelines, holding up a big sparkly sign that said you can do this! And you pushed through it. You kept the faith, you fought your fight, and you finished your race.
This verse also holds a special place in my heart. This verse reminds me of my grandfather. It’s actually the verse we put on his headstone after he passed. He was such a strong man, who endured so much throughout his life and never lost faith, never lost his sense of humor, and especially, never lost his ability to love unconditionally. His ability to keep fighting the good fight, to finish his race strong, and to never lose the faith inspires me and encourages me everyday.
From Charis: This passage has always seemed really… AMBITIOUS to me. (I am NOT a runner.) There is nothing in the world that can convince me to pound the pavement, so I understand this passage metaphorically.
But, I must admit, there’s a part of me that wants that “runner’s high.” To feel the rush as I turn the corner and see the goal and push just a little bit harder until my lungs feel like they’re going to burst.
That’s where the second half of this passage is like that refreshing drink of water: “I have kept the faith.” Where it doesn’t matter if you’re the first, second or last person across the finish line; that I kept going, that I didn’t quit, that I have kept the faith is the ultimate prize.
(Hm. I feel like I should take a quick jog around the block now.)