To quote a former football coach by the name of Herm Edwards, “Hello, you play to win the game.” That was in response to a question asked by a reporter after then Coach Edwards’ team lost a close game. It makes for great soundbite but the question is, is winning enough? If you were to ask any serious athlete or coach their answer would be unequivocally “yes winning is enough.” I think this is born out in the actions of the players and coaches. They are willing to cheat and even ruin their reputation all for the momentary glory of winning. As athletes and coaches, of which I have been both, we always think that people are always going to remember the “champions.” I would submit to you that if I were to go out and survey the average person they would not remember things nearly as well as we athletes and coaches think they would. Let’s give it a try. Here is a quote from a very “important” sports moment, “Do you believe in miracles?” Who said that, why did they say that, and here is a hint-was it the gold medal game? Or how about, if I asked what team did Michael Jordan on, most people would be able to get that. But what if I asked, how many championships did Jordan win and what were the years, could you name them? Please reply to this with your answers on here or on facebook under this post, or even tweet your answer. The catch is this, don’t google the information first. Let’s see if “champions really live forever.”
While coaches and athletes will tell you winning is enough, what would the wisest man who ever lived say? King Solomon is commonly referred to as the wisest man who ever lived because he asked God to give him wisdom in all that he did when he became the king of Israel. Yet as he gets to the end of his life, Solomon is faced with a difficult reality. We find that reality in Ecclesiastes chapter two. In the chapter Solomon says that he has tried drinking fine wine, laughter, having all the wisdom one needs, working hard, and even being able to buy anything I desired. His conclusion about all of those things, “all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecc. 2:11d). Solomon was saying I had everything that one would think they would need to be happy in life, but it is all worthless and didn’t bring me happiness. One reason that coaches and players hang around their sport to play or coach even after they can no longer be good at what they do is because they are afraid that if they walk away from their sport, they will have nothing. You see when we put all of our time and energy into something material or something of this world, we are faced with the reality that one day it is going to be gone. And when it is gone, we will be forgotten. We were created from an eternal perspective, with eternity in mind. God did not create us just to exist for a short time and then disappear. God created us for eternity and to pursue things of eternal value, things that will not fade away. The reason so many coaches, athletes, and even Solomon were and are so dejected at the end of their life is that they woke up one day and realized they had wasted their entire life for pointless pursuits. Please don’t misunderstand me, I still love playing and watching sports, and I hope to re-enter the coaching ranks one day by coaching my sons’ teams. But if my life or your life is about “winning” here and now, we are going to wake up one day to the reality that it is all “vanity and of no profit.” That is why Jesus tells us to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…that will never pass away” (Mt. 6:20).
What are you pursuing today? Is it going to be like your life and vanish one day, or is it going to carry on long after you are gone? Today is something that is too small to live for, because we were created for so much more.
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him!