I preached a sermon from Psalm 65:11 about the Lord crowning the year with His goodness and making His paths full of abundance, literally drip fatness!
When the end of the year is in sight, we want to slow down, fade out and begin to bail out. But like a good athlete we have to learn to run through the tape and not to slow down before the finish line. Many athletes could have broken world records if they had not slowed down. Let us learn to finish what we started with gusto, with the same energy and enthusiasm as we began. Let us put in the extra effort when we feel we can almost give up. That is where it counts.
Paul the apostle once said to a young disciple called Timothy, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith and now there is a crown of righteousness awaiting me!
As a young boy I was quite and athlete: I normally came first at school and at inter-school sprints. I came 3rd in the entire West Rand Primary School Area, which made me an easy choice for right wing in West Rand Primary School rugby team. It was easy to run away from the opponents who wanted to tackle me and dive over in the corner for a try!
My dad accepted a pastorate on the East Rand by the time I was at high school and I had my tonsils removed. I had also shot up and became somewhat clumsy (something I still haven't recovered from fully!)When I attempted to run durint the trials I came 5th. It was a schock to my system. I remember how I hated sitting on the grand stand watching all the other athletes compete. It felt like I didn't belong there. By Standard 9 I trained hard and became the leading 110 metres hurdler at the Cape School where I finished my matric. Because I skipped a year of school by completing two years in one, I was a bit young, 15 in matric competing against U/19's. But I won anyway.
In the final race the athlete in the lane next to me jabbed my foot with his spikes as we went over the second hurdle. He lost balance but kept on running; I hit the dirt nose first and felt like begging the earth to please swallow me up! But something inside of me urged me to get up and to finish the race. I hardly hit the ground or I was up and running. I caught up with the rest of the athletes and passed most of them. I came second - it was an amazing feeling. My nose, hands and knees were bleeding, but standing on the winner's podium was an amazing sense of achievement and personal satisfaction.
Sometimes we have to go through some things in a year that makes us stumble, fall, get hurt and panic; but the word today is to get up and go on: the race is not over. Run until you run through the finishing tape. Do not stay down. Do not be discouraged. Your year will be crowned with goodness. There is still hope, there is still a victor's crown awaiting you.
Put your faith in the Lord who will crown your year with goodness!