I love the Olympics, especially the summer Olympics. My favorite sports to watch are swimming, diving, volleyball, and track and field. It is so fascinating to me to watch these people accomplish such amazing feats that I’ll never be able to do myself.
This year I’ve found myself becoming a little envious of these athletes. O.k. maybe a lot envious. How fantastic would it be to travel the world meeting fascinating people and experiencing captivating cultures! Just being a part of the Olympics alone would be exciting. I start to compare my life with theirs and I become discontent. I’m lucky if I get to travel outside of my state let alone my country! I’ll probably never appear on t.v. or have a medal to put in above my mantel. There’s nothing glorious about my life.
It was with this dissatisfied attitude that I sat down to listen to a John Piper sermon this morning. He preached on 2 Timothy 2:8-19, in which Paul is encouraging Timothy to stand firm in his faith during the suffering he was about to face for the sake of the Gospel. Paul himself is writing the letter from a prison cell while chained to a wall. There was nothing glorious about either of their lives, certainly nothing to be envious of. But I was convicted by what Paul says to Timothy, “Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead and descended from David. This is according to my gospel. 9 I suffer for it to the point of being bound like a criminal, but God’s message is not bound. 10 This is why I endure all things for the elect: so that they also may obtain salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” Unlike the Olympians whose glory will fade as the years go by, our glory in Christ Jesus will be eternal. Paul and Timothy sought the eternal glory that comes from pursuing Christ. They saw gaining Christ and sacrificing their lives for the sake of preaching the Gospel, as a life worth living and dying for.
If I am seeking first the kingdom of God, my life will be well spent whether I travel the world or not. At the end of my life when I stand before God, all things done for earthly gain will be burned away. All that will remain is what I have done for His glory. No matter how big or small that might be.
So my life may never be glorious or exciting, but my prayer is that God will use my life to further the Gospel and to bring him praise. That is the life that will bring true satisfaction and reward that will outlast any medal or earthly fame.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 17 For our momentary light affliction[a] is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.