What Is Our Prize?
My last week of high school, I was sitting in the hallway when my track coach walked by. He doubled back and asked me “did you pick up your varsity letter yet?” I paused. “No, I didn’t think I’d earned it this year?” He told me I had, and ran back to his classroom to get it for me.
“Congratulations,” he said as he laid a letter and certificate in my hands. I was elated! I was never the best on the team, and never imagined I’d make varsity. But here it was!
Ten years later, I have no idea where that letter and certificate are. It was an exciting achievement, but a temporary prize. It has since faded away. As Paul finishes in 1 Corinthians, earthly athletes work to “get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
When our faith gets tough and it’s hard to stay dedicated, remember the prize that we have waiting for us. It is infinitely better than any certificate, medal or raise we could ever receive here on earth. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-7).
Imagine everything you think you know about Heaven – all the gold and angels and laughter and reunions. Now realize that your best imaginings can’t come close to reality. It is a miraculous prize that awaits us, and worth every bit of temporary discomfort that we feel here on earth.
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