Finish your time..!
As the last few thousand spectators began preparing to leave, they heard police sirens and whistles through the gate entering the stadium. Everybody’s attention turned to that gate. A sole figure, wearing the colors of Tanzania, came limping into the stadium. His name was John Steven Aquari. He was the last man to finish the marathon in 1968. His leg was bandaged, bloody.
He had taken a bad fall early in the race. Now, it was all he could do to limp his way around the track. The crowd stood and applauded as he completed that last lap. When he finally crossed the finish line, one man dared ask the question all were wondering. “You are badly injured. Why didn’t you quit? Why didn’t you give up?” Aquari, with quiet dignity said, “My country did not send me seven thousand miles to start this race. My country sent me to finish.”
And for many of you who are hurting or wondering why you are still in the race, let us have a look at Aquari for a moment; what would have happened if he had decided he would withdraw from the race half way? I guess he would have walked out at some unknown place and the crowd would have made place for him to step out and then closed ranks again, suddenly he would have found he was in an unfamiliar place with unknown people all around, nobody would have even known he had started, whereas when he managed to finish those in the stadium stood and cheered. People love it when you finish a task! They took him and embraced him and hugged him. There were thousands who looked at him, wounded and hurt and were stirred by his determination to finish something he had begun; in all probability millions remember him and were inspired by him as they tackle or try to complete formidable tasks in their everyday lives.”
The old lady looked at me after I finished the story, “What is there for me to live for?” she asked. I looked at the nurse and smiled at the old lady, “Maybe, she needs the money, or maybe she needs stories of your days of youth when you faced problems and overcame them?” I left them with the old lady telling the nurse of how she overcame a problem in her early days..!