The retirement of a professional athlete is a very mixed scene. On one hand, it’s a beautiful moment for the athlete to hang up his jersey with a deserved sense of accomplishment. Because of his achievements, his place among the other legends is secured. But on the other hand, it’s a great tragedy: never again will he enjoy his youthful strength and ability. His days are done. And the glory that was his on the court, the field, and the diamond will never return to him. Instead, the best the pro can do is put up his jersey for nostalgia’s sake, commemorating the glitz and glam of glory days gone by.
From now on he’s relegated to sit on commentator panels, commercials, product placements, and cameo movie appearances. He becomes a meme. The height of his life has proven to be fleeting for a maximum of about fifteen to twenty years; then it’s a long decline of glory to the (often) ugly ways he passes away.
How funny then, that so many of us yearn to have that same spotlight in the glory! Young boys and girls yearn to be like Kobe, Trout, and Brady and have their moment in the spotlight, only to have that moment prove to be very temporary – and a haunting memory of what they once had.
What our Savior offers is something more humble, at first glance.
Unlike Martha, understandably concerned about her honor as a hostess, we are invited to be like Mary, content to be at the feet of her teacher. What Jesus says is striking: “She has chosen what is better — and it will never be taken away from her.”
Instead, her standing as a daughter of God will never fade. It will only become greater!
Sure, it’s not what we originally wanted – or at least on the surface. Instead of being the glorious, muscular, gorgeous people we yearn to become — we’re instead invited to become a dependent, beloved, and cared-for child.
We’re found at the feet of a teacher, a friend, a lord, an older brother who cares for us with the same care that our now mutual Father loves us. Oddly enough, it becomes clear that this is what we actually wanted. Deep down inside our hearts betray us when we hear that still distant voice address us: my child.
The honor of other titles, accomplishments, and jerseys will eventually fade away, unravel, die. But we’ve been grandfathered into a once-in-history opportunity for an inheritance that never fades (1 Peter 1:4)!
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
Are you willing to accept this better offer? It will require you to give up your own schemes for honor and glory. But don’t worry — those things fade away in the end anyway.
By Ryan Lunde
Young Adults Pastor
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