The Final Countdown

A week from now that I plan to be celebrating having crossed the finish line of the Kansas City Marathon. Yes, I will be listening to the band Europe’s “The Final Countdown” this week along with several other songs that will get me pumped up. There will be a finish line celebration with people I love who have endured and sacrificed the rigors of training over the last several months. We will be sweaty, fatigued, sore, starving, relieved, and smiling ear to ear. For now, our challenge will be over!

But more importantly than finishing 13.1 or 26.2 miles we will also realize that the final countdown is still on for the kids we ran for. I am honored to be part of Team World Vision for this race. Our goal is to not only finish the race, but to raise awareness and money for children in Africa to have clean, safe drinking water and sanitary conditions so that they have a fighting chance to finish their race—the race for life.

I recently received a letter from Osman, a boy from Karaga, Ghana, who I sponsor and am dedicating my race to. He thanked me for doing this because it might help him become a doctor and return to help his village. He and others in similar situations have big visions, but because of conditions beyond their control they need our help. What can we do? First, it starts with praying for these children and their families. The poverty level they endure daily is beyond most of our scopes of comprehension. They work hard and do not choose to be in this situation, but unfortunately, they truly are victims of their circumstance.

Second, we need to have a perspective of what we can and cannot do. Paul Shane Spear said it very well with “As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.” We each can have a positive and lasting impact on someone’s life and sometimes we will never even know what that impact is. The beauty of this impact is that it takes on the ripple-effect so that when we help one, they help others, then they help others, and so on and so on!

Finally, we need to be obedient to God’s Word. In Matthew 25:40 we are told that Jesus will say, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” To me that is a powerful thought. How we treat others is a direct reflection of how we treat the Lord of the Universe! Personally, I am so thankful that He is the God of grace and forgiveness because I often fall short in this area. But He picks me up, dusts me off, and readies me to do better.

This week is indeed my final countdown to standing on that starting line, but I will be more focused on what it means to Osman and others like him and the lasting impact we can have on their final countdown. Several of you have already graciously given to this cause and I and these kids give you a heart-felt thank you! I ask that the others prayerfully consider giving to this to make the countdown one that will end in joy and promise. Please click the following link and give what you are able and called to do Help Us Now!