Last Saturday night, I was glued to the screen as England and the All Blacks played their hearts out. What a cliff hanger!!
Even when the odds in favour of the All Blacks seemed overwhelming, each player remained focused on their task, working solidly and steadily towards their desired end.
Only one team celebrated victory. The other team, however, did not experience defeat, even though the players lost. They had given their all in pursuit of the goal. Surely honour was also theirs.
Winning isn’t everything. Success can’t always be easily measured.
I am reminded of the Apostle Paul. Executed for his allegiance to Jesus Christ, Paul died an apparent failure. Yet, because of his life and work, the good news of Jesus’ redeeming love spread across the known world.
As his life ends, Paul seems do a little self-reflection. His questions review not his success in the world but the centre of his life focus -
Have I done the best I could for Christ whom I serve?
Have I gone as far as I could for Christ whom I honour?
Have I been faithful to Christ who has been faithful to me?
And he responds with conviction: “... the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4:6-7). How blessed to come to the end of life knowing that one has done the very best possible to honour the One who committed His all for us. To all who share in the restoring work of Christ, be encouraged. “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Cor 16: 13-14
Rev Shirley Barker-Kirby