Going For The Prize
Volume 3, Day 82
Every March a sledge race is held in Alaska, America. Sledge dogs and their drivers, called “mushers”, race across a 1,049 mile route. The competing teams cover this great distance in anywhere from 8 to 15 days. In 2011 a record time was set by musher John Baker who covered the entire route in 8 days, 19 hours, 46 minutes and 39 seconds. The teamwork between dogs and driver is remarkable, and those who compete are determined in their efforts to win. The first place winner receives a cash prize and a new car. But after so much perseverance in extreme weather conditions, the prizes may seem pretty insignificant.
The excitement of a race was a familiar concept to the apostle Paul, but he used competition to illustrate something eternal. He wrote, “Everyone who competes for the prize is [self-controlled] in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Cor. 9:25).
Sometimes we are tempted to place our emphasis on temporary rewards, which get used up with the passing of time. The Scriptures, however, encourage us to focus on something more permanent. We honour God when we focus instead on the prize of eternity with Him.