Paul, the aged apostle of Jesus Christ recognized he was nearing the end of his earthly journey. Just as Jesus commissioned His disciples to “…go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” Paul fervently wished to pass the vital torch of the truth to Timothy, his “son in the gospel.” He admonishes Timothy to be “a good soldier of Jesus Christ” and gives him certain perimeters for guidance.
First, he tells him to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Grace is God’s favor, anointing (divine enablement), protection and provision. As God told Paul, His grace is all sufficient for all things.
Secondly, as a recipient of this great saving gospel, Paul tells Timothy he must teach others also. (If each one won one and each one won, won one we could reach the entire world in one generation).
Then Paul reminds Timothy that he must “endure hardship.” Soldiers lead a life of sacrifice and often must deprive themselves of ordinary creature comforts. He reminds Timothy not to “entangle himself in the affairs of this life.” Jesus also warned us not to be overcome by the cares and anxieties of life.
Lastly, Paul reveals the principle motive of a true soldier of Jesus Christ: to please the Lord that called him to be a soldier. This old song expresses well the Christian soldier’s determination: “It's a battlefield, brother, not a recreation room; it's a fight and not a game. Run if you want to, run if you will, but I came here to stay.”
It wasn’t meant to last.
When Gustave Eiffel’s team won the heated bid to construct the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was meant to be temporary. Still, for two years they employed their bridge-building skills to fashion the wrought-iron lattice tower, hoping their precision would combat any destructive winds. The temporary exhibit was designed with permanence in mind and soared 81 stories high.
Critics were quick hurl insults, labeling it ugly, daring, impossible, and rebellious, even to the point of circulating an “Artists against the Eiffel Tower” petition. They must have found some solace in the fact that it was at least scheduled for demolition in 1909. No one expected it to change the Paris skyline forever.
After all, it wasn’t meant to last.
And yet it did.
In World War I, it intercepted enemy radio transmissions and dispatched troops. The next world war saw Hitler’s unsuccessful attempt to demolish it. Today, it continues to inspire us, creating moments of international solidarity when its colorful lights reflect triumphs and tragedies around the world.
It wasn’t meant to last – and yet Eiffel’s team built it as if it would stand forever.
Your season may be temporary, intended to last but a moment here, but how are you building it? How will your legacy outlive you when your critics and naysayers are long gone?
Temporary seasons in lives lived with a legendary outlook cannot help but change skylines, worlds, hearts, and lives.
Jim Robertson finally caught a glimpse of his son, Derek, as he positioned himself at the starting line.
Despite eight surgeries worth of injuries, Derek had qualified for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as one of the favorites and Jim was so proud.
A shot rang out and Derek ran fiercely, with Jim cheering him on.
Then it happened.
Just after the 250 meter mark, Derek fell to the ground, pain across his face, and watched his chances at gold fade into a cloud of dust. Still, he was determined to finish. Watching the agony that flashed across his son’s face with every broken hop, Jim fought his way through the crowds.
Others saw a defeated athlete but Jim saw a boy in need of his father. Making his way past security, he took his weeping son into his arms and whispered into his ear,
“Look, you don’t need to do this. You can stop now, you haven’t got nothing to prove.”
But Derek was determined and so Jim half-carried him for the remaining 100 meters, pushing away anyone who attempted to deter them.
65,000 onlookers rose to their feet in a standing ovation as father and son crossed the finish line.
Few people can name the man who won the 400 meter race that year but countless people have been inspired by the father who defied an arena’s authorities to wrap his weeping child in his arms, sharing his strength with him, so they could cross the finish line together.