Heavenly Treasures vs. Earthly Trophies

Heavenly Treasures vs. Earthly Trophies

Originally Posted by Mike Young July 2005

Our lives are often filled with the pursuit of recognition. We all like to be acknowledged for our achievements. Recently, my oldest son’s baseball team completed a strong season. They won the pre-season tournament, lost only two regular season games, then went on to win the final tournament. Timothy (9 yrs.) wasn’t a star but he contributed and consequently was recognized, along with the team.

It was delightful to see Timothy, and the team, compete and win. All involved parents and coaches affirm that this was a special team and a special season. (Not only did the boys play well and win many games but they also had wonderful snacks after each game.) Being part of a winning team is a great experience. Being part of a championship effort is even sweeter.

Take a few moments to reflect on the times you were part of something really great or even accomplished some significant feat as an individual.

  • Were you on a winning little league or high school team?
  • Have you achieved some significant goal recently?
  • Have you been part of a work team that reached sales or productivity goals?
  • Have you ever excelled as an individual in some endeavor like music or scouting?

How were your efforts recognized? When you are on a winning team you might get a trophy or medal. You could get your picture in the paper or your name might be announced on the PA system at school. In the work world you might receive a bonus or some other recognition. A series of victories in business might allow you to purchase a boat or some other special thing that is a symbol of your success.

Timothy’s team took home three trophies this season. They received normal sized trophies for winning the pre-season and post-season tournaments. But then, in order to commemorate the great season, the head coach picked out a HUGE team trophy that the parents had to purchase for their sons. The kids were all excited, and they should be. They had a great season. However, the team trophy was really disproportionate to the size of the accomplishment. It’s almost embarrassing when he goes and gets this huge trophy to show to folks.

When Timothy showed the trophy to one of my friends earlier this week, Mac appropriately said, “But remember, you can’t take it with you.” We all need to be reminded of that.

No matter how big and outrageous the trophies in our lives might be, we can’t take them with us. It’s OK to celebrate earthly victories, but let’s not forget that they are temporary.

Consider the following words of Jesus:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your heart is, there your treasure will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Let’s each focus on filling our lives with the pursuit of heavenly treasures rather than earthly trophies.