When I was a kid and was allowed to choose the cereal we would eat that week, I haunted the cereal aisle looking for the best prize inside. After all the cereals were pretty much the same, sweet corn or wheat in funny shapes, sometimes with marshmallows. But the prize….that was it. And if the prize was good enough I would even choose a cereal I didn’t like.
Then we would take it home and play Russian Roulette with the cereal box until the prize plopped out in someones bowl… If the magic “dibs” phrase hadn’t been invoked yet.
I really enjoyed Cracker Jacks because we each got our own box and the prize was all mine. Whether it was temporary tattoos, or a cheap plastic ring it was all mine. And I almost did not enjoy eating the cracker jacks until I got it. Imagine all that yumminess going unappreciated
So what has this all got to do with Christianity? Our salvation has a prize. Never forget when we are slogging through the tasteless bowls of cereal we call life, there is a prize, a hope that we are waiting for. And we are going through all of this….to get the prize.
Now sometimes the cereal (life) is sweet, and sometimes its just down right nasty, but we are working for the prize. I would encourage us all to find what I call ” the islands of happiness in a sea of troubles” as we go through life, enjoy the happy moments while you can, embrace them and they will get you through the troubled sea in between. But never forget that the real prize is yet to come and that is what we truly have to hold on to. Never forgetting that the grace of God is there to hold us until that day comes.
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
This is our prize. The hope of our calling
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Never forget you are a child of God and when you have run the race, finished the course and set aside this brutal mortal coil, you will hear the words:
21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
So take heart children of God and be faithful. This life maybe as nice as bowl of honey nut cheerios or as hard as cold grits, but there is a prize awaiting us. There will be a day…