Gifts
Pointing the Way
Saved Savers Saving

Ninja Raccoon and the Eternal Prize

Ballz Best best All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  ~1 Corinthians 9:25

I'm from Baltimore, and I love football.  If you love football, you probably understand that I am experiencing quite a bit of disappointment.  Defeated in the playoffs, my beloved Ravens will not win the prize this year.  They trained, they practiced, but their hopes for a Superbowl trophy and diamond-studded rings have faded away.

And that's how life is.  The flowers have faded away, covered by snow.  The leaves are gone.  Retirement accounts have dwindled.  Jobs end. Every bit of our existence which seems so important, necessary, or indispensable truly does become ridiculous compared to just remaining alive.  I realize now that Jesus had this perspective.  Knowing that he was going to die in a year or two or three, what use was a big house, or fancy clothes or a fast donkey?  The important thing was to save lives.  If not his own, then as many others as possible.

We had a little scare the other night, and it genuinely seemed at that moment that someone was trying to get into our house at 4:00 in the morning.  In that desperate moment, nothing we owned had any value except our lives and the lives of the family.  Upon further investigation, it was most likely a raccoon, but the jury is still out.  Nevertheless, it has given me the opportunity to ponder my mortality.  Life IS fragile, and there are no guarantees.  And whatever prizes we may be pursuing in this life, we can be sure that they will not save us from death, nor last much beyond it.  There is only one prize that will last forever, and that is our salvation through belief in Jesus who gave up His life to save ours.  If it had been an intruder with evil intent, I know where my family and I would be when we left this world.  Everlasting life IS truly a blessed assurance.  But now the challenge is to rededicate myself to saving others.  Witnessing is a life-saving mission, as real and as necessary as rescue helicopters, police, or emergency medical teams.

I suppose I knew all this, but it becomes so much more real when you stare death in the face at 4am--even if it turns out to be a raccoon or the wind.  So thank you, raccoon, for giving me a scare that put life in perspective.

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