Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Prize

I've still been thinking about the carousel. I absolutely understand that life is more of a race/marathon than a merry-go-round BUT...sometimes it FEELS like a merry-go-round.

This picture was taken while the carousel was in motion (so it's blurry) - but - if you look carefully (you can click on the picture to make it bigger) you'll see a woman in the background. She rode the entire time we were there. She reached out and grabbed those little rings you can catch - as often as possible. There were no prizes involved - she just loved collecting as many rings as she could.

I'm choosing to believe that she just loved the whole riding adventure, and found it fun to gain victory over each ring she grabbed....

But sadly, it reminds me of people going round and round - gaining and accumulating and collecting and achieving - that which gains no prize at the end.
The Bible says that our lives will be like a big pile of stuff (my translation) and it'll be torched to see what was actually worth something in what we did with our days. And THOSE things (moments, conversations, kindnesses, etc) will be rewarded.
The faithfulness to keep going will be rewarded - not the accomplishments. Obedience will be rewarded - not perceived value here on earth - obedience.

What I want is to have something of value laying there (after the torching) so that I can pick it up and take it to Jesus and lay it at HIS feet. I'm a gift-giver - but what can I give to the Guy who is and has everything? I can give my reward to Him! Wow.


安室 said...

keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice and relax day!........................................

SB said...

You will give him your heart.Your whole heart that he has redeemed and restored, mended, loved and died for. That is a very valuable treasure. Maybe that is all Jesus really longs for.

I like your thoughts about the merry-go-round. If you like, I will share another image with you. I have often thought of life like the bike ride across Oregon that my husband and I did several years ago. There were so many people going the same direction. We journeyed together at different speeds, different capacities, motivations and interests, yet the entire group was moving toward the same destination/goal. There were segments of the ride where different groups of people informally agreed to link up and work together as a team. We rode in a single-file line with each person taking his or her turn "pulling" for the others. Those in the back benefitted as they "drafted" from the first rider who cut the wind. When the rider in front tired, he/she would move to the back of the line and rest as another rider pulled for a while. In that way, those who travelled together shared their strength and the entire line was able to make much better time that any one of them could have done alone. I was always amazed at how much ground we gained when working together in that way.
The interesting thing is that groups of riders banded together for certain segments of the ride. We did not always travel with the same people. We traveled with some people for a short time, others shared the journey for a longer stretch.
It reminds me of the way we, as Christians, often journey with other people through life. There are segments or seasons in which my family has traveled with a certain church, community or group of friends. We benefitted from each other's strength and gained ground together. Then for one reason or another, the group disbanded. Someone moved on, passed away or got called to serve in another place.
It is always sad to say goodbye, but eventually, God brings others alongside for the next leg of the journey. Though we may not always be arm in arm with the same people, we are all moving the same direction, toward the same goal. We share memories of the beauty around us as well as the bumps in the road. Sometimes we traveled through sunny valleys, other times we endured rain storms and harsh winds. (Personally, I always enjoyed the smooth downhill rides rather than the challenging uphill climbs!) No matter where we are we know others are journeying as well, even if we cannot see them, we sense they are still moving ahead. And every one of us looks forward to being united again when we reach our destination and the celebration that awaits us at the finish line!