High School Wrestling
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:7-8
When I was a junior in high school, I broke my collar bone while wrestling. I had aspirations of going to state, so when I realized my season was over, I was crushed. I knew I had my senior year, but at that moment, wrestling was the most important thing in life and it had just been taken away. More than 30 years later, I can look back and smile at that angst because I can now see that, in the grand scheme of things, missing the state tournament wasn’t a cataclysmic event. At the time though, it was everything.
It’s amusing in retrospect, but at every point in my life, including right now, I cling to little things that I think are of the utmost significance. If you audited how I spend my time, money, and energy, you’d see those things and you’d know what I consider important. You’d see, for instance, that I spend a lot of time at the gym. At the gym, we’ve got a competition coming up next week and if I broke my collar bone today, I would once again be gravely disappointed. In thirty years, I’d look back and see that it wasn’t a big deal, but today, it would be devastating.
Today’s passage puts life in perspective though. In it, Paul wrote that all his accomplishments in life meant nothing in comparison to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus. Paul’s faith and his relationship with God were the most important things in his life and if you examined his life, there would be no doubt. Paul claimed God was the most important thing to him and he backed up that claim with his actions, abandoning all else to know God and follow his will.
As Christians, most of us would say that God is the most important thing in our lives, but how do we live? If our lives were audited, what would it be that others would observe? Do we spend more time on Facebook and Netflix than on our relationship with God? So often, like me in high school, we cling to stuff that just isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things.
The problem of course, is that we can only experience the life for which we were made, when we put our faith above everything else. Daily, if we want to know authentic purpose, joy, and peace, we must live what we claim to believe, investing in our relationship with the father, following his will above all.