Ladders & Crowns

January 4, 2016

“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.”
– Psalm 149:4

Another football season is coming to a close. Teams have made their way through the regular season schedule. For the past few weeks, we have been saturated with bowl games and All-Star games. Some teams achieved great success and were crowned champions of their region or conference. Players have been named to All-American, All-Conference, and All-State teams. These players have or will showcase their skills in games just for them. Coaches have been named “Coach of the Year” and nominated for various Halls of Fame. As coaches and athletes, we’re always chasing “crowns.” Trophies, rings, plaques, and medals are the crowns that often motivate us. If we’re not careful, we can lose our perspective on the things that matter the most. Long-time NFL coach Bobby Jackson once said, “I climbed the ladder of success almost all the way to the top, but I found that my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.”

It’s all too easy for us to put our ladders against the wrong wall. The victories and the awards can give us a true sense of pride. We must constantly be on our guard and frequently ask ourselves why we do what we do. We should challenge ourselves regularly with this question, “Who’s getting the glory?” Psalm 149 reminds us to be humble and to give thanks to God for any success we might have. We need to understand that the crowns of the world quickly fade away and lose their value. Few people can remember last year’s “champion.” On the other hand, God loves us so much that He offers us a crown that will last forever, if only we commit our lives to Him. As another year begins, let’s give some thought to where we’re going to place our ladders. Are we going to climb walls that have limited value or are we going to climb walls that have eternal value?

Heavenly Father, as I begin this new year, I ask for the wisdom to place my ladders on the right walls. Help me today to see and strive for the things that have eternal value. Amen.

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