Finishing Your Race With Your Torch Still Burning
In the modern Olympics, the opening ceremony concludes with a ‘sacred’ flame being lit by the last runner who received a lighted torch through a succession of others.
This custom was taken from the ancient Greeks when bare-foot runners raced through the streets of Athens in a relay called lampadedromia until the final runner crossed the finish line.
But the prize was only awarded to the first team who crossed the line able to light a scared flame, so their torch had to be burning.
There is an evocative truth here. While it is important to commence your race, it is even more important that you finish it with your torch still burning brightly!
Finishing Your Race
How many times are we like the dog lying next to shredded pieces of paper, which once read, “Certificate of Dog-Obedience Training”?
We started something with good intention and somehow got distracted. It could have been a healthier eating or regular exercise regime. Or, to get better at what we do through Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Or, to read more stoical material and watch trashy movies, TV and SMS less.
Yet, the flame of our commitment diminished like a burning candle until what remained was cold, hard wax ~ and no wick.
Nothing True Is Ever Lost!
It’s human nature to falter and even stop doing what we know we should be doing ~ for a while. Such pauses can be good for introspection. To make sure our ladder is leaning against the right wall. Once in a while, we may even ask ourselves, what's the point?
But when we truly have a purpose beyond selfish satisfaction that transcends self-imposed limitations, we discover a passion within to run and finish our own race with the torch still burning brightly. In an oft quoted new testament scripture we read, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (see Matthew 24:13).
Whether a believer or not, let me paraphrase what these evocative words promise. If you keep on keeping on in the pursuit of a worthy ideal, you must finish with your torch still burning. You will have lived a meaningful life, which is one of mortal man’s greatest rewards.
Continuing With Purpose
Sometimes after pausing for a while, you may feel discouraged and believe your flame has gone out. That your race was just a forlorn hope. But can the light of any truly worthy purpose really be so easily extinguished?
Speed in your race is rarely, if ever, important. Direction is all that matters and sometimes that means changing running lanes. The only way to lose is to drop out of the race. As long as you continue to check yourself and run in the right direction, you must finish with your torch burning brightly.
Every purposeful motivation shines in the darkest hours to light your way if only you incline your heart to recall with ever increasing clarity your worthy dream. No matter how often you slow down to a walk, the light of your passion burns brightly. If you continue in faith, that light must consume the shadows to reignite your own sacred flame.
Think of it this way: your light is not really about you at all. It is about what you leave for others who will follow on. Such a sacred light can never really be extinguished. It is that light that swallows darkness, heals wounds and blazes even in the aftermath of the deepest tragedy or regret. It is that light that surpasses all understanding.
May you find and finish your race with the help of your truest friends and family to be joyful together with everyone’s torches still burning brightly.
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Complicated IS Easy! Simple IS Hard!