I quiet enjoy watching sport, and I’ve really enjoyed turning on the TV and seeing the Sochi Winter Olympic games on. Watching people from different countries battle it out against one another in various different sports is pretty enjoyable. But one thing in particular has struck me as I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics this year: These people train for at least 4 years (probably far longer) just to compete for a few minutes. Some of them succeed, winning for themselves a brief moment of glory and a shiny piece of metal. Others are forgotten by the wayside within moments, left only with the hope of something different after four more years of training.
It occurred to me that while there is absolutely nothing wrong with sport or the Olympics, if this is all that these people live for then they are to be pitied. If all they can hope to attain in life is a few minutes of fame, if all that they set their eyes on is the glory of being the best in the world for a few years, then they aren’t really living for anything that will last. The fact is that in a years time only a few people will remember who won medals and who competed well. In a few decades these athletes won’t be remembered at all.
But it struck me that the same applies for everything in this world – doesn’t it? We can chase after things that promise a lot, but can they ever truly deliver? Will we be happy with just one more promotion? Will making my first million dollars truly make me content and fulfilled in life? Even friends and families will disappoint us – and likewise we’ll fail them. And even if these things could bring lasting contentedness, none of them can change the fact that we are sinful and need a saviour. None of them can save us from death.
In Ecclesiastes 7:2 Solomon says:
It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.
The truth is that whatever we achieve in this life, there is no purpose to it unless it is done for God. Whatever we accomplish will fade away. It will be forgotten and replaced. But if we repent of our sins and put our faith in Jesus as the only one who will save, then we have the promise that we will go to be in heaven with him for eternity. We won’t take our achievements with us. In fact, it won’t matter if we’ve achieved “greatness” by the world’s standard. The only thing that will matter in the long run is if we have put our faith in Jesus and, as a result of that, have served God faithfully out of thankfulness and love.
What are you trying to achieve in life? What are your goals? Will they matter once you die? Will they matter in 200 years time?How long will it take for people to forget you?
The real question boils down to this: Are you living your life as a Christian who has turned to Jesus as the only one who can save, or are you rejecting him and living your own way?
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.