A Prize That Can't Be Beat

I listened as a TV news anchor reported the story about a Little League mom who grabbed a 12-year-old boy’s face, gave him an angry shove, and called the boy names. Her reason for anger? The boy had taunted her son, one of the players, during the baseball game. If found guilty, the woman could serve up to a year in jail.

We’re all familiar with parents who live, almost to obsession, through their children. We may have even fought it ourselves. Our society is so caught up with winning and being the best, that often the benefits of the journey are forgotten.

I support children – and adults – being rewarded for hard work and perseverance. Trophies, prizes, and rewards can great ways to help build self-esteem, team camaraderie, and celebrate an achieved goal.

But when all is said and done, no one should base his/her worth on how many trophies sit on the mantle.

My husband told me that he’s never won a trophy in his life, but added, “When I die, what would people do with it? A plastic statue wouldn’t mean anything to them, and they’d just toss it in the trash.”

That made me think . . . I have a box of trophies and awards for music and scholastic achievements during high school. Yep, a whole box. Somewhere in the garage. It was cool to receive them at the time, but I haven’t looked at them in probably 34 years. The box just keeps getting moved from house to house.

At one time I thought that someday my children and grandchildren might get a kick out of the looking at my award memorabilia. But it will probably just end up in the trash. Really, what would they do with the stash? Build a shrine to Grandma?

Trophies, awards, and prizes are given to “winners.” And don’t we all want to be considered winners? Doesn’t it feel good when we’re handed the prize?

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13 NIV)

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13 KJV)

God wants us to strive for a different kind of prize. One that won’t be broken or thrown out with the trash. The prize spoken about here is our “calling.” God has called us to a higher purpose for His Kingdom. Part of that calling is to be in relationship with Him. Whatever else He has for us to do may not always be easy to discern. But He still wants us to press on - seeking direction and understanding.

No other prize can compare with being a child of God - fulfilling our purpose – and doing what we were created to do.

Press on toward the goal . . . and win the prize!


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