‘Everyone’s a winner’?

You’ve probably noticed that at the moment it’s ‘sport, sport, sport’: Wimbledon recently finished, Qld won the final State of Origin match (go the Maroons), the football (soccer) World Cup final is tomorrow … and then the Commonwealth Games start in only 10 days time! We are being deluged with all these athletes straining to win the ultimate prize in their chosen field.

You might also know that in 21st century Australian sport it can seem like ‘everyone’s a winner’: that often every child gets a trophy for participating. However, it’s just not like that at the top level of sport. There is usually only one winner, and disappointment, tears or even devastation for the rest. Like, did you see the response of many Brazilians after they were thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the World Cup semi-final? The hard reality is that everyone’s not a winner; only one team or person gets the trophy or the gold medal.

I don’t know what sporting dreams you still hold for the future. As for me…well, I think I’ve finally realised that I’m just not going to play anything at the top level now (at age 40), let alone win a gold medal. However, I am still firmly aiming to be ‘a winner’, an ultimate winner—and this is why:

“But one thing I do: … straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”    (Philippians 3:13-14)

This is what the Apostle Paul determined to do in his life; this drove him forward. Friends, our heavenly inheritance will outshine and outlast any and every gold medal or ‘trophy’—whether sporting or otherwise. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we aren’t to be ascetics who deny the goodness of God’s creation and his abundant material blessings to us. However, we are to think of them, and treat them as less important than what the future will hold for us.

You and I can ‘strain’ for many things in life, yet may we most strain and press for Christ and his gospel—for if we do that, then we will be ultimate and eternal ‘winners’.

Cameron Wills.

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