Update on California Chrome: If you’ve been following my blogs over the last few weeks, you’ll know that I’ve been watching and commenting on a race horse called California Chrome. The colt was 2 for 2 going into the Belmont Stakes and with a win at the June 7th race he would become the first Triple Crown winner in over 45 years.
It didn’t happen! With over a 100,000 people watching, Chrome came up short finishing 4th in the grueling mile and a half race. You could argue that he lost to a horse with a better pedigree (whose blood line included a previous Belmont Stakes winner), that the other horses were fresher than he was (Chrome had run more races in the last 6 weeks than any of the three horses that finished ahead of him), and so on. And yes, all of that is true, but it doesn’t change the fact that he finished in fourth.
Personally, I think he was fatigued and that he didn’t have a ‘deep enough tank’ to win the longest of the three races that make up the Triple Crown. Is he still a champion? Absolutely! Though he didn’t cross the line first, he finished strong!
Speaking of finishing the race, I’ve been looking at this verse in 2 Timothy 2:47, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”, and I’ve been wondering what that means to me.
Anyone remember Ben Johnson and his Olympic gold medal winning race in Seoul Korea in 1988? 979 was the time. 9.79 seconds to run a 100 meters. Unheard of. No one could run that fast. Ben could, and we loved him. He was like family. We celebrated, we danced in the streets, we were ecstatic! Olympic Gold, he was a hero! To quote Ben; “The gold was for my mother, for Canada, for everyone.”
Then the bombshell! The announcement. Steroids? Ben? How could this be? Shock set in. Then devastation, anger, betrayal, and the like. We were ashamed! Ben was stripped of his medal and banned from racing. I guess that in the end Ben finished the race, he even crossed the line first, but he didn’t finish well. He cheated!
So what does it mean to finish well? To me this means that you do what you said you would do even when those around you don’t keep their promises, you don’t run away from your problems but instead you face them head on, you don’t point the finger at someone else but ‘man up’ instead by accepting all of the responsibility for (and the consequence of) your actions, you don’t run, you don’t hide, you don’t abandon your friends, you don’t quit, you don’t lie to get ahead, and you don’t cheat. Integrity, Integrity, Integrity!
And… you put others needs ahead of yours, they come first! Today, we live in a society of entitlement and selfishness! The media, the billboards, the ads, and the TV commercials, tell us this is the right way to run this race called life! It’s as if there’s an idea that it’s ok to do whatever you have to do to get where you want, the end justifies the means, do whatever to reach your goals. I disagree with all of this!
Now having said all that, sometimes I think that ‘Finishing the Race’ well; might just simply mean getting to the finish line. I’ve had days when I’ve asked myself what am I doing all this for. Am I really making a difference? Does anyone care? Sometimes just getting to the end of the day is enough! And… when you’ve done all of that, and you’ve gone as far as you can go, then you better have a ‘go to’ cause you’ll need one! Matthew 11:30