As the Olympics wind down, this year's track and field events offer lessons on our "race" for the crown of life.
[Darris McNeely] Steve and I look a little sleepy this week. It's because we've been staying up late at night, every night, watching the Olympics and highlights, catching up with what's going on. Every two years, Olympic fever catches hold of people and we can't wait to see how our particular country, the United States, or whatever yours may be, has done in today's races.
[Steve Myers] It's an exciting time. They're coming to an end now, the second week. And everything's focused on track and field. And most of those events all revolve around who's going to get to the finish line, who's going to run that race. And amazingly, they all seem to focus on that finish line - whether you're rowing, or whether you're a BMX biker, or the 100, the 200 meter. It focuses on finishing that race and doing the best you possibly can.
[Darris McNeely] And the marathon is coming up on Sunday. That'll be the last big race, big event of the games. And then they'll have the closing ceremonies. Track and field seems to be the core of the Olympics. That's where it all started thousands of years ago in Greece. And even the Apostle Paul caught a bit of the Olympic fever or the games fever in his day when he wrote several times illusions to running the race, finishing our course as a Christian, and fighting the good fight of faith. In 2 Timothy 4:7 2 Timothy 4:7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
American King James Version×he said regarding the end of his life, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge will award me on that day." And so he had that same feeling and he drew that picture into the race of Christianity - staying and holding the faith until the end of our life, toward God's Kingdom - what from the lesson that we learn from life and especially in the games of the track and field.
[Steve Myers] There's no doubt, you know, our Christian path is a race and we've got to run that race. Hebrews 12:1 Hebrews 12:1Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
American King James Version×says that we're to run the race with endurance that's set before us. So, in the race of Christianity we've got to push toward that finish line. It doesn't matter, like one of the athletes had a broken leg, and he finished the race, he pushed on. We've seen tremendous stories of people working against the odds that continue to push themselves so that they can finish the race.
[Darris McNeely] So many of the athletes come to the games just to compete, knowing they have no chance for a medal. I was struck by the woman from Saudi Arabia who became the first woman to run in a major race like that and she was running with her head covering on. But she competed as so many of them do in coming for whatever the event may be to represent their country, to compete in the games, and to participate.
[Steve Myers] Yeah, 1 Corinthians 9 it actually says that we run that race, run it was though you're going to obtain the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 1 Corinthians 9:24-27  Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.
 And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air:
 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
American King James Version×). Of course we look forward to the ultimate prize of being in the Kingdom of God. That's the goal. Let's never lose sight of that.
[Darris McNeely] That's BT Daily. Join us next time.