In the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA, USA, Canada's Donovan Bailey ran the 100-meter sprint in 9.84 seconds. He was acclaimed the world's fastest man, and experts analyzed the race tapes to learn how he did it. All agreed that he started in the back of the pack and then overtook other runners in a dramatic mid-race surge. The victory almost didn't happen. After so many wins, Bailey admitted he'd become overconfident and found it difficult to obey his coaches and maintain rigorous training, but the tapes also revealed that he was still accelerating at the end.
I've almost finished "the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1) and sprinting is no longer an option. When someone at church asks me to teach Sunday School I'm tempted to say, "Been there. Done that. Let the younger folks do it now." But like Bailey's coach, my Coach won't let me coast. Growing older means I have more time to exercise the gifts God has given me. Instead of slowing down, I want to be accelerating when I cross the finish line.