Today we get awards for everything. Run a race you get a medal… Participation. Fourth runner-up at the science fair.. here’s a medal for your accomplishment. Why is this? Well in part it’s to keep parents and kids happy and to simply make us feel better about ourselves.
All cynicism aside, awards are generally a good thing. Goals and achievements are admirable and to be sought for. The desire to persevere for something meaningful is woven into everyone’s DNA whether they know it or not.
In this day and age, though, I wonder if we strive too hard for awards, albeit good ones. A job promotion, a sports title, a certain class rank, a grade on a test. Or maybe we feed our insecurities with made-up awards to make us feel better like Instagram likes on a picture or doing just better than the next person at any given deed. Our culture that’s addicted to comparing and out doing each other at any cost has to take a toll to some degree on our morals, relationships, or even priorities… right?
Even though there are tons of awards and accomplishments to go around today, it seems like everyone is fighting for a select few that ‘matter’ to them… ones that will really let them sit back and say “Ahhhh” if accomplished. I think we’re all in danger of turning these awards or achievements into ultimate things by which we measure our worthy and joy… aka idols.
What if all these awards, promotions, and achievements we’re persevering so tirelessly for gave way to one award that really, infinitely mattered?
A crown. An achievement of sorts.. a trophy, if you will. Yes, a crown of righteousness will be awarded at the end of time to all who love the Lord and eagerly await His return. (2 Timothy 4:8)
Just like our earthly crowns, this crown must be persevered by holding fast to faith in Christ’s work for us (Revelation 3:11), but on the other hand, this crown is imperishable and will never fade away. (1 Corinthians 9:24). Furthermore, these crowns will be given not because of what we’ve done, but because of what Christ did.
Isn’t it beautiful and humbling that the only award that matters in the end comes by nothing we have done? (check out Ephesians 2:8-10)
So what comes of these crowns? Are they worn around to boast how good we were on earth for all of eternity?
Quite the opposite. It seems that our reward for holding fast to Christ who paid our punishment on the cross is cast down at the Lord’s feet in worship and reverence to the One who is worthy (Revelation 4:10-11).
Why not let our trivial, earthly awards mimic the ultimate award to be received on the last day… by casting them down at His feet. What would this look like?
As my good friend Max(imus) once said, “What we do in life echoes in eternity,” so what if we let that be true of the accomplishments that we hold so near and dear, and allowed them point to the One who is worthy.