For I am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well;
I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance. (2 Tm 4:6-8)
There are many things that I really admire about St. Paul. Paul was a staunch believer. He always threw himself, 100%, into whatever it was he was doing. When he persecuted the Christians, he was 100% persecutor. He showed no mercy. He was a lethal machine. When he encountered the Lord on the road to Damascus and received subsequent instruction from Ananias, he because 100% Christian. He showed nothing but mercy and love. He was a force to be dealt with as he spread the Good News. People today would call him a Type A personality. Workaholic. Driven. Uncompromising.
Paul was also a realist.
He knew what was facing him. He knew where he was headed. He knew that, ultimately, his life would be required of him.
He did not care.
He did not care because he was in it 100% for the Lord. He knew that whatever happened to him here on earth would be nothing because of what was awaiting him in the eternal kingdom of heaven.
He often spoke about that journey as a race. The finish line was Jesus Christ Himself.
That is a marvelous image for us to embrace in our own daily living.
FAITH ACTION: Paul knew that his speaking up for Christ, his spreading the Good News, might get him into trouble. However, Jesus was worth it. We know that speaking up for the faith might get us in trouble. However, Jesus is worth it. Be a 100% Christian today!