Monday, December 9, 2013

Nelson Mandela: a Milestone in History

The passing of Nelson Mandela was the last milestone of a man who changed the course of a nation. Was it the influence of his early years of faith in Christ that propelled him to a lifelong strategy of nonviolence and forgiveness? A man of peace? Coincidentally, another who is called a man of peace, Billy Graham, is reportedly failing fast. No less a world-changer than Nelson, I wonder what tribute the world will afford a man whose legacy was preaching Christ to more people than anyone who ever lived. The life of each of these men is a milestone in history.

“Milestones” were used by the Romans to help marathon runners know how far they had come on the race. Inspiringly, Paul characterized our spiritual journey as that of a marathon runner, reminding us that a great cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12:1) ran their race before us, through many hard milestones, and finished well.

I am inspired by any one who can maintain a steady pace over the course of 95 years. Let us remember Paul’s words: “He who began a good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Phil. 1:6). And what a milestone that will be!

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