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Just prior to the 2002 Olympics, a trainer was asked by Arturo Kinch of Costa Rica to coach him in Cross Country skiing. This wasn’t Arturo’s first Olympics or ski experience. In fact, the trainer realized that this former missionary kid, who hadn’t even seen snow until he was 19, was somewhat of a folk hero in Norway.


Years ago, when Arturo was just beginning to enter the world of ski competitions, he raced in the famed Hollenkollen ski festival’s 50km event. It didn’t go so well. Part way into the race he fell and broke his tailbone, but he continued on determined not to "DNF". As the winners breezed through in about 2.5 hours, Art was still struggling away on the course trying just to finish in under 5 hours.


In the Hollenkollen, the king of Norway sits in a special box in the middle of the stadium. The winners of the race get to approach the box and shake the hand of the king. In that year’s race the winners had long ago finished, met the king and put their warm, dry clothes on. The king of Norway though, decided to pay his respect for the hapless skier from Costa Rica who was giving his all that day. The king remained in his box waiting patiently for Arturo. Because of this, none of the over 60,000 spectators in attendance dared leave the stadium either.


When Arturo finally came into the stadium, he’d assumed everyone would have left, the banners be taken down, etc. Though absolutely exhausted, delirious and somewhat confused, Arturo heard the most unbelievably loud cheer from this massive crowd when he entered the stadium.


So too, will be our entrance into Heaven for those that persevere. You may not be a champion in the World’s eyes, but Jesus is waiting for you to give you the "well done good and faithful servant" to those that finish in faith!