What Is Your Prize?
A record was broken today that 10 years ago many thought would never happen. Roger Federer has now been ranked a total of 287 weeks at the top of the Tennis world (not consecutively). The previous record holder, Pete Sampras, was sitting at 286 weeks and that was to most tennis fans, untouchable. Just like so many records before, what seems an impossibility is soon left behind. For Federer of course he plans to keep adding to those weeks at #1 and only time will tell where he finishes. The reality is that no one can stay #1 forever no matter the sport. The glory that comes with it (even well deserved) fades and someone else comes along to take the top honours.
It’s not like that in the Christian life. I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 9:25, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” For the believer each one of us can obtain a prize that lasts forever. God has promised this. Paul says in Philippians 3:14, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
As I follow tennis it is clear that fans of one player are constantly comparing their favourite to others. For the Christian we should never get into the habit of comparing ourselves (or anyone for that matter) to others. Galatians 6:4 tells is, “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” Our focus must be on our own lives and service for the Lord.
So what is your prize? Are you training and striving for an eternal prize that will never fade or an earthly reward that is passing?