My Athletic Career and the Grave
No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. Ecclesiastes 8:8
As I began my routine yesterday morning, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach starting. Today was the start of a three-day team athletic competition, in which I am participating for the first time. I began to imagine bad things happening. What if preform horribly? What if I fall on that crazy self-powered treadmill and get thrown off the back of it – in front of everyone?
Then, I sat in my chair, and I read Solomon’s words from today’s passage. It wasn’t a pep talk, but it put my reality in perspective, which is exactly what I needed. There are those things in life which are sort-of important and then there are those things which truly matter. Very few people are ever going to know or care about my score today. So, instead of worrying about my athletic prowess (or lack there-of), I began to think about what does matter.
Things like money, stuff and sports scores, deserve less emphasis than our faith and our relationships with those around us. We often get it backwards though, living in anxiety over the temporary and insignificant.
Solomon, who was wealthier than most will ever be, insisted that no matter how much we accumulate, we can’t take it with us (Ecclesiastes 5:15). The flesh life, though it seems more real now, will end . . . for everyone. The spirit life however, lives on for an eternity. In a thousand years, much of what we treasure now, will be inconsequential.
What then, is important today? What will last? First, our faith in and love for God are the most important things about us and in pursuing him, we touch the eternal. Second, in loving our neighbors, we invest in those who also have an everlasting spirit life. Every day, we have the opportunity to live for those things that will literally last forever.
As it turns out, I didn’t fall off the treadmill, but I didn’t win either. I did however, take time to talk to God and develop friendships. It was a grand day, made much better by the right perspective.