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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Meghan Vogel

Very few know what it means to receive the title of State Champion.

But Meghan Vogel does. Vogel, a junior runner for West Liberty-Salem High
School (West Liberty, Ohio), won the 1,600-meter title last Saturday at the
Division III girls state meet in Columbus. She won it with her
personal-best time of 4 minutes, 58.31 seconds.

But it's what she did in her next race that makes her a real champion - even
though she finished last in the race.

After running and winning the 1,600-meter, Vogel lined up to race in the
3,200 meter. Her mother and coach, Ann, noted that three laps into the
8-lap race, that Vogel was falling off pace. She could tell that she just
didn't have the energy to contend for another title. Now it would be a
matter of completing the race.

As Vogel rounded the final turn of the grueling race, she saw a runner ahead
of her struggling. With only 20 meters left, Arden McMath, a sophomore from
Arlington High School, collapsed in exhaustion. Instead of running past
her, Vogel stopped and helped McMath get to her feet, put her arm on her
shoulder, and began helping her to the finish line. Just before they
reached the line, with the crowd cheering, Vogel purposefully steered McMath
across the finish line ahead of her.

According to the rule book, a runner is automatically disqualified for
aiding another runner. The officials at this meet, however, didn't
disqualify Vogel. McMath was given 14th place with a time of 12:29.90, and
Vogel -- a real champion - 15th place in 12:30.24.

Meghan Vogel reminds us of a man that devoted himself to achieving a
marvelous goal. He devoted his life to fulfilling this goal. In fact, it
was for this very purpose that He was born and He gave his life in order to
accomplish it. But accomplish it, he did! As he was taking his last
breaths, he was able to say victoriously, "It is finished." He had
completed his task; he was a champion.

In fact, He IS the greatest Champion of all! His name is Jesus, and He is
the Son of God. But because of His great love for us, the Son of God was
clothed in human flesh and lived among us, to identify with us (John 1:14;
Hebrews 2:17-18) and then to die for us.

Jesus came to our rescue when we had fallen because of our sin (Romans
3:23).None of us had the "energy" nor the resources to "cross the finish
line" (heaven). But Jesus came to us and died on the cross for our sins, so
that we might have forgiveness and one day cross the finish line and have
eternal life in heaven.

Jesus was the Greatest Champion not just because He completed His task
successfully, but because He gave His life for us so that we can SHARE in
His victory. He accomplished His task for US. His actions were totally
unselfish. He died so that we might live.

YOU may share in His victory over sin and death if you will accept His offer
of salvation on His terms by: placing your faith and trust in Him (Acts
16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus
before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for
the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38).

Meghan Vogel was a champion, not just because she won a race, but because
she helped someone to cross the finish line....

Jesus is the Greatest Champion of all, not because He fulfilled His life's
goal, but because by so doing, He has enabled EACH of us to share in His
victory - IF- we will accept His offer.

Won't YOU?

David A. Sargent

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