Saturday, February 02, 2013
25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:25-26
Why would a mortal athlete go to so much trouble...to train so hard for so long, to sacrifice all else, to persevere through…to be crowned with a piece of pine or celery at an awards ceremony?
Maybe it’s because of what the reward represents – the hard work, the accomplishment. Maybe it was to prove to himself or someone else that he was capable. Maybe he wanted the fame that accompanied a champion.
Whatever motivation the athlete would claim, beneath that is a truth so simple, so assumed, so understood that he probably wouldn't even consider telling it to you:
The athlete believes that all his efforts are worth the reward.
…but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
This crown that lasts forever…do we believe that it is worth the effort now?
Do we trust that God has our best in mind à even when it comes to rewards?
Earlier in the letter to the Corinthians, Paul quotes Isaiah 64:4 and states:
9 However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him
1 Corinthians 2:9
Just as no one could have predicted how God would offer salvation, do we believe that God can and will blow our minds when we cross this life’s finish line? Are we willing to put in the effort now as we look forward to his demonstration of love toward us?