Blazing down the track at a nearly unbelievable speed, one runner was more determined to win than the others. As he entered the final leg on the 400 meter sprint in 5th place, he forced himself to push ahead of the next runner. Then the next, and the next. Moments later, he found himself clutching an Olympic gold medal. This man, after years of diligently working, practicing, training, researching, and preparing, finally saw his dream—to win the gold in the 1964 Olympics—come to fruition. He won!
Do you know who he was?
Of course not.
Barring his descendants, a few running die-hards, and maybe a couple Jeopardy! contestants, nobody remembers Michael Larrabee’s grand feat. And I haven’t even mentioned the silver, bronze, and even lower placing contestants. Think of all their work and toil--for what?
80 or so years from now, you will likely be forgotten too. Nobody will remember that cool prize you won or care that you topped the Fortnite charts for a day. Nobody will know whether you were the most popular dude among all your friends or the cutest girl around. You will, most likely, be decaying under block of cement, marked by a headstone slowly eroding under the elements. All your efforts and achievements will be, it seems, for nothing. They won’t last.
The truth is, if our efforts are merely for ourselves, their fruit will die when we do, or maybe even earlier.
We like to think that, somehow, the world revolves around us. But, unless we live at the north or south pole, that is simply not the case. We must remember that God is the star here; we are just background extras. Our job is to glorify God, not take his glory for ourselves.
I am not saying we should not work hard, or that we should morbidly resign ourselves to a meaningless life. Instead, we should do things that are going to matter long after we are forgotten--things that make a difference. There is some much more to the life God has for us!
Eric Liddle was another Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter sprint. But his goal was to bring honor to God by uncompromisingly giving God the glory. He used his platform to share the gospel, and when his Olympic days were over, he went to China where he served as a missionary for the rest of his life. He did not waste his life.
Paul was inspired to write in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27,
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [i.e. disqualified].”
Some people live by the mantra of YOLO. “You Only Live Once,” they say, “so live it up while you can.” But, as my brother Micah says, “That’s stupid! You only have one life. Don’t waste it!” Today I encourage you to rethink your life choices to make sure you are not futility wasting your life.
What are you doing now that will count for nothing considering eternity?
How are you going to change that?
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About Nathaniel Hendry
I blog on common social issues from a reasoned, conservative Christian perspective in easy to understand writing. I am committed to academic excellence in writing and supported by solid reasoning and research.
About A Worthy Word
The Worthy Word isn't mine, but God's. I just try to explain the truly Worthy Word and encourage you from it.