“They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25).
I have a championship ring. Actually, I have two. One is the Big Eight Conference Championship ring (now the Big Twelve). The other is the 1991 National Championship ring. In the collegiate world of football it’s a pretty big deal to win both. So you can imagine the excitement we all felt at Colorado when it happened. And although I was only the Chaplain, I was included when the rings were handed out. They even have my name on them. Wow.
But there’s just one problem. The rings do not fit. And I don’t understand why. I was measured before the rings were made, and was eager to put them on when they arrived. But, no, they were both too small. Dang!
I stood there in my room trying to figure out a way to make them fit me, but nothing I did worked. After spitting on my finger I was able to force the ring over my knuckle. But then my finger swelled up like a hot dog. I was barely able to get the ring off before it was too late.
Do you know what a drag it is to have two Championship rings that you can’t wear? I remember muttering under my breath a half-hearted complaint to the Lord about this. “They’re too small,” I said. And then in one of those moments that you never forget the Lord spoke to my heart, “That’s right. They are too small. I have called you to something bigger than football games and championship rings.”
As a chaplain I watched a football team devote themselves with Spartan-like dedication to a cause that ultimately, on the Grand Stage of life, is short-lived and soon forgotten by all but those who paid the price to win it. My question is this: if these guys would pay so dearly for that which means so little, what in the world is holding us back from giving our all for Christ?
In the words of Paul, “They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25). Shouldn’t our dedication exceed theirs to the same degree that our prize excels theirs? Indeed, it should! (pg.45, Released From the Prison My Father Built, James Ryle, 2010).
I trust you are enjoying these excerpts from my new book. To get a copy, click HERE. Also, would you please help me get the word out by letting your friends know about it? Thank you so much!