It was interesting to see the different runners. Some were fast, ran confidently, and were among the very first finishers. Some were not very fast and it took them much longer to finish. Many of the first finishers stayed around to wait for the others and to cheer on their family and friends. I saw some fast runners who went slower than they had to because they were running alongside of someone to encourage them and help them finish. Some quit running but they did not quit the race. They kept walking until they finished. There were a few who looked like they may have fallen down, but they got up and finished the race.
No medal unless you finish. And everyone who finishes the race gets a medal.
It is just like being a Christian.
It is a race to heaven. The prize is to live with God forever. That is the medal you receive for finishing. The medal is not because of how good you are. It is not about whether you sometimes fell down. It is about finishing.
Paul, one of the writers of the New Testament, said it this way:
I have finished the race… Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day… (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NIV).