Reaching The Finish Line

I’ve got a few words for some of my seniors who are graduating this year. Here are a few things I’d like to challenge you with as the end of your high school career draws to an end! Let me pull some thoughts from the Apostle Paul and his thoughts in 1 Corinthians 9:24-26

24 Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. 26 Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. 

With just a couple more weeks to go here are a few things to remember as you draw near to this very exciting time in your life!

1)RUN HARD! It ain’t over yet! I know that many of the Seniors suffer from “Senioritis”. And even though the tendancy may be to slack a little and start dreaming about being on the other side, you’re not there yet! Don’t miss the opporutnities to run hard here at the end. Finishing well means running hard all the way to the end. I have sadly seen many young awesome students who have gotten all the way to the “near-end” and drop the baton, fall down, and become disqualified in some way with their testimony! Don’t let that happen to you! RUN HARD ALL THE WAY TO THE END! Don’t give in to slacking. Don’t give in to temptation! Don’t give in to chasing the wind…you are chasing the WIN!

2)RUN INTENTIONALLY! There is no time up to this point in many of your lives that decisions you are making are so crucial. Don’t make flighty un-prayed about decisions. Don’t just choose any old school or any old job or any old person to date or develop a relationship with. These things that can happen here at the threshold of your future are vitally important! Be careful of how you spend these final days. Make great memories to be sure but don’t give away your future or your heart to something or someone that is unworthy of it. God wants you to trust him as much now with your immediate future as you trust him with eternity!

3)RUN PURPOSEFULLY! Living with the end in mind is difficult for anyone. Yet I want to remind you that money, popularity, fame, etc. are  not the things to ultimately pursue. Good ole King Solomon would remind each of you about. He would speak the words penned in Ecclesiastes 12: 1

1 So remember your Creator in the days of your youth:

Before the days of adversity come,
and the years approach when you will say,
“I have no delight in them”;

Solomon, the wisest king and man to ever live tried everything there was to try and came up empty -handed and empty- hearted. You each have your future ahead of you and it sure looks bright! Don’t settle for living for this world when there’s so much you can give to this world by living for Jesus! Look at Paul’s words to the Colossians:

Colossians 3:1-3

1 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.

Choosing to live with purpose that goes beyond yourself is something only those whose hearts are fully-devoted to Christ will do. Living with purpose manifests itself in not just the things you do but the character you exhibit day in and day out. On your graduation day there will be no finer award given to you than the memory people will have of you as a person of extreme integrity and high moral values. Remembering how you want to be remembered is something you need to remember!  Live on purpose with purpose! Don’t live for now…live for eternity! Be Kingdom minded and set your affections of things that will last far beyond a party, a moment or even a person. Live for something greater than yourself!

4) RUN NOW! Many Seniors end up varying their course after years of walking and running faithfully with the Lord. Don’t veer off the path now! Stay focused and stay intent on finishing what you have started. I’ve even seen some kids walk away altogether! Don’t let this happen to you! Don’t forget to spend time with the Lord even in all of the busyness! Don’t run on the fumes of yesteryear…keep your relationship fresh and vibrant with the Lord today. Don’t get so caught up with your success that you fail to remember  who has brought you this far! It is God’s grace that has empowered you and you need that grace and power as much today as ever.  If you are feeling weak in your effort, schedule some time with the Lord. Even the youth grow weary according to Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
31 but those who trust in the LORD
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint.

There is no doubt that we all will celebrate each of you as you reach this milestone in your journey. It is my hope and prayer that each of you will finish well and not only that but find yourself down the road looking back with little to no regret on your final days in high school. With just a few more weeks to go, make them count! Don’t waste a one! Run with all you’ve got and finish strong! Love you all and believe that you really can make a difference if you will run well the race that is set before you!

George Lockhart

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