“The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique.* The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit.”
Joseph Stowell is a teaching pastor, writer, and speaker. He has served as president of both Moody Bible Institute and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. He has authored several books and is a major contributor to several respected Christian journals and magazines.
*Lampadedromia was a torch relay race which was, at least in part, the inspiration for the modern Olympic torch-lighting relay ritual first instituted in Berlin, 1936.
Stowell concludes, “I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him.”
It's one thing to finish, it's quite another to finish with your torch still lit. This requires faithfulness, not just in action, but in intimate relationship with Christ. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent'” (Revelation 12:1-7).