Sunday, March 16, 2014

What Does It Take to Get the Prize?

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Eric Carle is one of my favorite authors. I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar who eats too much, tries to do better and then seemingly dies but becomes a butterfly- a new creature. Isn’t The Very Busy Spider great in that the fly hangs around and hangs around until hanging around in the wrong place gets him caught in a web that costs him his life. Eric Carle has so many life lessons in such simple stories.

The other day, I was reading Pancakes, Pancakes to my class. It seemed the boy in the story was going to way too much trouble just for a pancake. When he asked his mom for a pancake for breakfast, she said he had to cut the wheat. When he took it to the mill, the miller had him help thresh the wheat. When he finally got home, he had to gather eggs, then milk the cow, then churn the butter. Then he had to tote in firewood. All this for one pancake? I think I would have gathered the eggs and fried a few. But this boy had something we all need. He had perseverance. No matter how hard the job or how long it took, he kept working until he was able to achieve the prize – a pancake! There was also an extra sweetness when he reached the goal. Mom had strawberry jam in the basement for the pancake.

Paul tells us that he presses toward the mark. He has a goal to reach so he can win the prize. He realizes that he has a high calling from God in Christ Jesus. We know God has a purpose for us to accomplish in this life. If not He would take us to heaven as soon as we were saved. He has a high calling in Christ Jesus for all of us. Paul’s life wasn’t easy. He was shipwrecked, chained, and beaten, but that didn’t stop Paul from preaching the gospel. He had that quality of perseverance. He took his calling seriously. No matter what happened he would achieve the goal and win the prize of heavenly rewards.

I have lots of unfinished stuff in my life. I have crochet projects that need finishing, paintings in progress, stories that stop in the middle, and clothes that need folding just to name a few. I wonder how often have I given up on something God intended me to finish for His glory? What am I missing out on? If I can’t seem to get through the little things how will I handle the major problems of sickness, or finance, or death? With God’s help we will persevere.

Got any stories of God’s help in persevering? Won’t you leave a comment?
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