We Have to Fight To The Very End.
There is a verse in the New Testament – in the Bible – written by the Apostle Paul. He was exhorting the young Timothy to keep going in the ministry. As an elder, he understood that the young Timothy could easily give up in the journey and hence needed encouragement and advice.
The most important lesson was in form of a farewell. It is contained in the second letter to Timothy 4:6-8. It might have taken much lessons for one to understand that the very message Paul was saying was about the need to fight and only stop if it was the end.
The passage says ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.’
And it is interesting to note that there is mention of a crown in the passage. This is simply to mean that there is always a gift for those who don’t give up the fight mid-way. For him, Paul says that it was time that halted his fight for the gospel. But he was happy that he had finished his course. The portion of his work was done and he was glad to have done it.
In retrospect, the advice can help us too. I love the Apostle Paul because of his effort. Where others put a single effort, he did put (×10) ten times as much on his side. His success in ministry was closely related to his goals. He gave all. He set ten times higher goals than everybody else.
And he didn’t stop until he saw the realization of them. After all it is better to fall short of higher goals than achieve smaller ones. For example if you set your goal at one and achieve it, it means that is your end and that you will stop at that. If you try more, you will reach two or three which makes but a little difference.
But suppose another fellow set his goals at ten and achieved seven of them and came short by three. It means that this guy achieved seven times more than the first individual and that he has what to keep fighting for until his time can come.
I am obliged to say that it ought to be moral for us to only stop if we have reached the finish line of our lives. Until then, it should be our fighting day. Fight to be a better person, fight to be a good steward to your God. Fight to survive the pandemics that are always baying for our blood. Fight to succeed in our endeavors. Fight to be the best.
This is the right time to be aggressive and fight for your survival especially when Covid-19 is after me and you. On the side, floods and landslides are also in high gear. Other pandemics, seen and unforeseen are also doing press ups waiting for the opportune time.
Stop fighting only when it is the end. In the course of last week, I happened to watch a wildlife documentary. I concluded that wild animals never stop fighting unless it means the finish line. In fact I was happy when a monkey fought its way out of the mouth of a crocodile.
The young monkey left with a hurting head and tired limbs but that was worth the fight. At least it had an opportunity to tell the story another day and most importantly a huge lesson for itself and its offspring. In the wild, it is always fighting to survive.
And the day an animal stops fighting, it is the day it stops living. Paul only stopped fighting when age had caught up with him. But this was no sufficient reason to stop fighting. It’s the persecution that prompted him because he tells Timothy that my time is at hand. Otherwise he would have continued.
And we should have an understanding that in the course of the fighting, we will lose. Be sure for that. In fact it is healthy to fail but most importantly, it is crucial to learn how to fail. The fight actually is a result of the fail. When struggling to rise up, that is the fighting mode.
Paul himself failed a lot. At one point he was a puppet of wrong doctrinal propagation of his masters that led him to persecute the people of God. But because God had purposed to turn that zeal for his work, he met him and changed his cause forever.
Another failure was his believe at some point that the gospel was only for Jews. Luckily God helped him change the notion even among his brethren and thus the message went even into the gentiles. At every failure he encountered, he fought to win. Even after wrongly judging John Mark, something that resulted in a conflict where he, Paul, departed ways with Barnabas, he later embraced him back.
In fact at the time when he is writing to Timothy, the same John Mark was with him. So be prepared to fail a lot. But of greater importance is to know how to fight our way back into the course and sweating the journey on.
Mastering the art of failing and bouncing back and keeping on fighting means recurrent success and just like that, you will never stop fighting unless it means you have finished the race. The best thing is this, you have finished the race and stand to be counted.