In it, my son gets in a great kick on the soccer field. But it's his reaction I'm stuck on. He stops to celebrate his kick, but the rest of the team has moved on to the other end of the field, still playing--without him--while he's celebrating what he's just done.
I love that he's excited about that kick, just soaking up the moment. He's just an unassuming young child, and it's sweet to see his joy! But at the same time, there's something about it that speaks.
When we do something great, what's our typical reaction? Do we step out of the game--a game that is still going, mind you--to soak up the accolades and applause?
I keep thinking of 1 Corinthians 9:24: "Run in such a way as to win the prize."
As we run this race on our way home to Heaven, how are we running? Do we allow the words of blessing and encouragement from the stands to spur us on toward love and good deeds, to urge us on in our running?
Or do we stop every couple of paces in order to be celebrated? Do we run one great lap and then stop and wait for the thunderous applause while the rest of the runners are still running? Do we pause to proclaim our victories rather than continuing to run?
Run in such a way as to win the prize. No successful athlete stops mid-race to celebrate his victories or pat himself on the back--he knows that part will come when the race ends. You'd never see an Olympic sprinter run one time around, then stop and turn to the crowd and say, "Hey, did you all see that? I just rocked that last lap!" while the rest of the runners keep running.
In the same way, when we do something big, we can rejoice while we keep running--there's no need to step out of the race to beg for acknowledgement from the crowd. We know applause and celebration await us with the words we'll hear one day:
"Well done, good and faithful servant."
So keep running. Let those words of encouragement and blessing spur you on--we all need this to keep going!!--But don't stop to soak in the celebration.
Run in such a way as to win the prize. Keep running.