I recently spent my first day ever at a horse race track. It was a fun day, but I noticed something. Sometimes a horse would start out great and even lead the race into the home stretch, only to be overtaken by one or more other horses in the last yards of the race. Occasionally, a horse would lead for ¾ of the race and then finish dead last because it just plumb ran out of steam.
Last night, I heard about a pastor of a church nearby that just confessed to having had two affairs. He was, I’m told, going to do a sermon on holiness, but couldn’t go through with it because he felt like such a liar. I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing he had some external motivation to come clean, as well. I could be wrong, though. Regardless, this man has been a respected, godly leader of his church and community for two or three decades. I have personally visited this church on several occasions with relatives that are members there. He’s a good preacher and a loving, godly man. Or, so it seemed.
Why? That’s the question everyone is asking now, why? Why did he throw away a thriving ministry, career, and do such harm to his family? Of all people, he knew the end result of having an affair. Did he just run out of steam? My guess is that it’s a bit more complicated than that, but not as much as one might think. Sin is sin. Much of it we do out of habit or stupidity or just plain evil. But, sometimes we do it because it feels good. It’s fun. It’s an adventure. It’s an escape from the pressures and/or the doldrums of life.
Whatever the reason, he did not finish this chapter of his life well. I pray that God pours out grace and mercy on him and his family and that they finish well.
The thing about finishing well is that it’s not just about the finish. To go with the horse race analogy, if you go all out for the first ¾ of the race, you probably won’t have much left for the home stretch. A strong horse that paces well through the bulk of the race can explode down the home stretch to victory.
Are you setting yourself up to finish well? How?