Tossing the Plaques

by John Grant
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.�
1 Corinthians 9:24-26

Boxes and ClutterThere must be some law of physics that holds to the premise that the amount of items you store away will grow to equal the amount of storage space you have available.  At least it seems that way in attics, storage closets and the like. Every once in a while my bride gets the idea that it is time to clean house and dispose of what we are collecting dust on and throw it out, but invariably a few years later the space is full again.

We recently went through that experience and I focused on five large boxes filled with plaques that had once adorned the walls of my capitol office when I was in elective office. They have been in our attic tarnishing from the heat and collecting dust for nearly ten years. I had enough in those boxes to provide the inventory for a small lumber yard.

I went through them once by one and box by box. I saved a few that had special meaning, but tossed the bulk of them, but not before holding them in my hand and recalling the circumstances under which I received them. At the time they were important and impressive as I was named the outstanding legislator of the year or recognized for passing or defeating significant legislation and the like.

But now, in some cases more than twenty five years after getting them, they were worthless. Some of the people or groups that presented them to me have forgotten that I ever existed and some of the work I was recognized for doing has been subsequently been undone by succeeding legislators. At the time, I thought that these awards had great merit and for a short time they did, as they secured political strength and re-election momentum. Some signified my role in the passage of legislation for which I had great passion. But now, they are relatively meaningless.

As I went through the sorting process, I thought about Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians, where he talked about athletes competing for a crown that will not last, but how we as Christians must commit our lives to get the crown of glory that will last forever.

I have to ask myself what I am competing for….. What the world calls important or what God calls everlasting. What a shame for people to devote their efforts to worldly awards which become meaningless in the passage of time, and run right past the opportunity to enter the gates of Glory for eternity. Ask yourself – what is the most important thing you are competing for and what it has to do with your life beyond this world.
( a thought on life from John Grant )

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