“….that I may know him and the power of his resurrection,
and may share in his suffering, becoming like him in death,…”
– Philippians 3:10 (ESV)
To compete in the world of athletics takes motivation and drive. As coaches, we invest countless hours training our athletes to perform at the highest level possible. What is our payoff? Why do we do it? It could be a state championship or simply a winning season. It might be a Coach of the Year award or gaining respect for our the program in the community. While these can be worthy goals, they’re what we could call surface desires or earthly trophies. We can spend our entire life collecting earthly trophies. It might be a trophy car, a trophy house, a trophy spouse, or a trophy coaching position. It can be easy for us to focus on surface desires which neither last nor satisfy us in the long run.
Saul had a lot of trophies: power, influence, prestige, money, significance and success. He was living the good life and performing at the top of his game. Saul’s problem however, was that his desires were misplaced. He was aggressively persecuting Jesus and his followers. When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, his name and his focus changed forever. Paul’s new desire was to know Jesus fully and to be a major player on His team. His motivation shifted from earthly trophies to heavenly trophies and he never turned back. Our challenge is to take a closer look at our own desires and determine whether they fall into the category of temporary or eternal rewards. If you’re honest with yourself, would you say you’re collecting earthly trophies or heavenly trophies? Could it be that it’s time for a renewed focus in your life?
Heavenly Father, You know me better than I know myself. As I go about the work You have called me to do, give me a true perspective of what is really important. Help me strive for the trophies that have eternal value. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.