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The Magnetism of the Finish Line


Sermon shared by Philip Harrelson

December 2003
Summary: This sermon is in an ongoing series where I take snapshots from Pilgrim’s Progress and develop a message around it. I have no idea how many sermons will be in this series.
Denomination: Pentecostal
Audience: General adults
At this point, Lance Armstrong felt that this was the time to attack. He lunged at the pedals, scaling the mountain, thinking about empty road that now was ahead of him. He began to gain time on Ulrich. But then something happened. One of the spectators along the way swung a yellow souvenir bag into the path of his bike and down he went. But in all of that chaos as the other riders flew past him, internally there was a screaming, unrelenting voice, “Get Up! Get Up! Get Up!”
Lance Armstrong then began to ride with a vengeance. After a few minutes he caught up with the race leaders. He then attacked and bolted on his bike. In doing so, he gained ten seconds. Then his United States Postal Service team car pulled alongside him and told him, “You’re ten seconds up on the leaders.” Shortly thereafter, another call from the car, “You’re twenty-seconds up.” That portion of the race ended with him winning by 40 seconds, which is an incredible distance when you realize the power of these riders. He ended up winning that year which was the 90th Tour de France.
He relates about another time when he ran out of water and it was desperately hot in his ride and how that his team mates rode alongside of him encouraging, cajoling, and even threatening him. The day that he ran out of water he lost 15 pounds in a single ride. But it was the magnetism of the finish line that kept him at it.

-That must keep all of us at the same pace. We are stretching toward a finish line.

-This life is made up in all of what you see. This life is made up in the magnetism of the finish line. Every one among us must establish that we are going to finish this race. Finish the job. Finish the task. Finish our marriages. Finish being a parent. Finish being a friend. Finish being an encouragement. Finish this church. And on and on we could go.

-I conclude with this:

There is a nautical term used in the sailing world today that I want to tell you about. It is called “kedging.” A kedge anchor is used when a ship is grounded or found in turbulent seas. Sailors will row the kedge anchor as far as they can from the ship in the general direction they wish to move to. They drop the kedge anchor into the sea. Once the anchor finds purchase on the bottom, the sailors on board begin to operate the winch and pull their way towards the anchor. This is know as kedging.

We don’t normally think of moving towards an anchor. The anchor represents the past. It holds us back. Sometimes, however, the anchor is our future. We move towards it. In especially turbulent times, we need to pull ourselves into the future with the anchor of past revelation. The past then becomes the only means into the future.

-The Bible calls hope an anchor in Hebrews 6:18-19. Yet the anchor is not behind us, it is before us. We are kedging our way into the future with the magnetism of the finish line.

Philip Harrelson
December 7, 2003
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