So Paul has told Timothy that he has to Fight the Good Fight and Keep the Faith. He has to preach the Word, using it wisely, even looking for opportunities to spread the Gospel message; to continue teaching the truth.
We see in verses 5 and 6 that Paul knows how hard this can be.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
- There will be times when so much is swirling around you that your head will start to swim! But the Christian warrior must keep his head straight!
- There will be times of hardship and persecution! But Christian warrior must endure.
- Evangelism still has to happen!
- Pastoral duties still have to be performed!
- Timothy has to finish what he has started!
I was reading the news the other day and a headline on CNN caught my eye. “Marathon Runner Takes Bus to the Finish Line”. This runner took approximately 10km of the race by bus. Not only did he do that he also won a medal, third place! But when what he did was discovered, he had his medal stripped from him, he was disgraced. What Paul charged Timothy with is not unlike a marathon as I am sure that some of you know. It takes a long time to prepare and be ready to start the race and it takes dedication to get through it.
Can you imagine the heart pounding adrenaline rush that the marathon runner must have felt as he waited in anticipation for the starter’s pistol to sound, then BANG, and he starts to run. He falls into that mile eating pace. But after a while, as in some ministry efforts, that adrenaline rush wears off, the miles in front of you look so far, the finish line is out of sight, that medal doesn’t seem so shiny. Every single step is like moving a block of concrete as you put one foot in front of the other; times when you don’t know if you can go on, times when you would rather take the bus.
Paul was telling Timothy that there will be times like that, times when he will want to take the easy route. Imagine you see a way to get to the end of the race easily, a way that nobody will ever know about. Imagine you take it and even get a medal!! But just like the marathon runner, our authority will find out and strip that medal from us, we will be utterly disgraced. Timothy cannot take the bus to the finish line, he must finish the race. Even when he feels like he is being poured out like Paul has, he must keep going. To be continued!