Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lord of the Rings

"It is too small a thing for you...." (Isaiah 49:6, NIV)

I have a championship ring. Actually, I have two. One is the Big Eight Conference Championship ring (now the Big 12), and the other is the 1991 National Championship ring. In the collegiate world of football it’s a big deal to win both. So you can imagine the excitement we all felt at Colorado when it happened.

And though I was the Chaplain, I was included when the rings were handed out. Its even got my name on it. Wow.

But there’s just one problem. It doesn’t 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, it was too small. Both of them!

I stood there in my room trying to figure out a way to make them fit me, but nothing I did would work. I put spit on my finger and 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. “It’s too small,” I said. And then one of those moments that you never forget happened—the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “That’s right. It is 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 it all for Christ! In the words of Paul, “They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible” (1 Co.9:25).

Shouldn’t our dedication exceed theirs to the same degree that our prize excels theirs? Indeed, it should!


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