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Make sure you know what the real prize is

I recently overheard a parent telling a child to “keep their eye on the prize” while referring to winning at a particular sporting event.

It got me thinking, if I teach and train my child to obtain a trophy that won’t last, to win a game that matters not with future events, to accomplish a task that five years down the road no one will recall, if I instill winning games/competitions, or obtaining a certain GPA, scholarship, degree, how getting this or that career, or having this type of vehicle or that big of a house or holding a variety of certifications or accomplishments is the prize they should be seeking, then I have failed them horribly.

Don’t get me wrong. I desire my children (and all humans for that matter) to work hard and achieve awesome feats. I don’t want my child (or any human for that matter) to settle for free stuff, handouts or participation trophies. We are meant to work and provide the best we can. However, and please read this slowly, allowing it to take hold, the prize to be sought is eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord.

We have mistaken what is most important. It isn’t making the all-star team, nor making a certain salary. The most important thing in life is accepting Jesus Christ and the love He has for us while sharing it with each and every soul we come in contact with that they too can know this loving way leading to eternal goodness.

But, even when it comes to eternity, we have messed up our thoughts on the true prize. We can’t even keep our eye on the eternal prize without making it selfish. Surveys show most folks say, “I get my own mansion, streets paved in gold, I never have to worry about my heart problems/cancer/diabetes/anxieties/ depression/etc. ever again.” Even when asked, “If you could spend five minutes with anyone in Heaven, who would it be?” we add our parents/friend/grandparents/loved ones of a huge variety.

We have taken our eyes off the true prize. Heaven is not about what we get but everything to do with who he is.

The true prize has nothing to do with what we get but everything to do with kneeling before The King of Kings and Lord of Lords and worshipping Him forever. Sure, there are plenty of extras the Bible promises but the main prize is being before the Holy Trinity and nothing else. So, follower of Jesus, keep your eye on the prize and be a follower who makes other followers. Lord, help me put to death my ways and simply follow You.

Through Jesus, amen.