RUNNER'S WORLD (8/91) told the story of Beth Anne DeCiantis' attempt to qualify for the 1992 Olympic Trials marathon. A female runner is required to complete the 26-mile, 385-yard race in less than two hours and forty-five minutes in order to be able to compete at the Olympic Trials.
Beth started strong...but began having trouble with her race around mile number 23. She was beginning to struggle with each step. THEN...she barely reached the final straightaway at exactly two hours and forty-three minutes (2:43). There were only two minutes left in order for her to qualify.
Two hundred yards from the finish line...she stumbled and fell to the ground. Dazed, she stayed down for twenty seconds. The crowd began yelling: "GET UP! GET UP! GET UP!" The clock was ticking...2:44 with less than a minute to go!
Beth Anne managed to stagger to her feet and began a stumbling kind of walking. Now she is five yards short of the finish! There is only ten seconds left on the clock! She fell again! She began to crawl...the crowd was cheering her on! She crossed the finish line on her hands and knees! Her time? Two hours, forty-four minutes, fifty- seven seconds! She beat the clock by three seconds...qualifying for her Olympic Trials!
We are all in a race...a race to a finish line, you may have a life-time in which to run a marathon. Or it may be a sprint for you...because none of us is guaranteed a certain quantity of time in which to run our individual race!
"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us!" (Hebrews 12:1b).