He wears the ring with pride. He wears the ring with humility. He earned it. The ring. The championship ring. The ring is big. It looks heavy. Pure gold. Solid. It’s a prize for having a winning season. For winning the most important game of the season. For winning the game of his life. He played hard. And he won.
He worked hard for that ring. Daily workouts. Weekly games. Road trips. Sacrificing time away from family and friends. He worked for years honing his craft. Just for a chance to win that ring. For him. The hard work paid off.
Oh. It wasn’t a perfect season. There were missteps. There was a loss. One loss. That single loss dashed the hopes for a national championship. They had to settle. Settle for being less than number one. There were days when the goal seemed impossible to reach. There were naysayers. Those who didn’t believe it was possible. But he kept going. Teamwork. Training. Determination. Sacrifice. Hard work. Practice. He still won a ring. He knows the work he put into getting the ring. He knows the glory the ring stands for.
It’s a prize worthy of pride, for few win it. It’s a prize worthy of humility, for few have it. You see. It wasn’t the top prize. There was a loss during the season. One game that didn’t end well. Mistakes were made. The price of this one loss was high. There would be no championship game. But that ring speaks volumes. It defines a season of his life. But it doesn’t define who he is. It will always be a part of him. After all. He earned it fair and square. He’ll talk about it when asked.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
We’re all athletes. Of a sort. Life is a sport. Of a sort. It has many different seasons. Winning seasons. Losing seasons. Good years. Bad years. Exciting times. Humbling times. We run many races. Face multiple trials. Endure hardships. Suffer staggering losses. Experience joyful times. Earn bonuses and awards. It’s called life.
We’re working for a prize. A prize that we’ll never see or touch while we’re still on this earth. The prize we’re working for is eternal. We’ll receive that prize when we’re face to face with God. He is our judge and the giver of all good things.
Our Christian race is run much the same as an athlete’s season. Wins. Losses. Mistakes. Championship seasons. Awards. Injuries. Doesn’t mean we don’t need redemption. We do. All we have to do is ask. We don’t earn it. It’s freely given.
Oh. Our heavenly reward will be based on our life record. If our sins, our mistakes, our failures have been forgiven, they won’t even be on our record. The slate will be wiped clean. When we don’t deserve it. Let’s keep our eye on the prize. It’s just around the corner.