Summary: As believers, we ought to be going for the best of show rather than settling for honorable mention in our relationship with Jesus

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my dad and I used to enter as many pictures as was legal in the

photography exhibition here at the fair. It would take us, or my dad

anyway, weeks to get all of the pictures ready - enlarging those that

needed it, mounting them on to the correct size of cardboard, filling

in the entry tags, etc.

Once the deadline for entry was over, we endured the

crucial task of waiting for the items to be judged. At that time you

would hear my dad say, “Ah, a blue ribbon - they must have some

judges that know what they’re doing!” Or, he’d find one that

didn’t receive a ribbon - or received second to a so-called lousy

shot and you’d hear him say, “Man, where did they get these judges

- they’ve probably never taken a picture in their life; what do they

know about photography?!” Not really, my dad never had to worry

about that since he would usually clean house in the photo division,

unless, of course, I had a picture entered in the same category that

he did.

Seeing the ribbon that you had earned, though, was always

a great joy for the both of us. There was nothing better than seeing

a photo that you had taken hanging on the wall with a big blue

ribbon hanging off the posterboard that it was attached to! But,

there was one ribbon that my dad and I both hated to get. We

talked about it just the other night and decided that, for us, there

was nothing worse than receiving an honorable mention ribbon at

the fair.

The reason we hated it was because that after receiving

enough honorable mention ribbons to wallpaper a small bathroom

in pink, we decided that, at best, the ribbon meant that were the

best of the average. Because the cream of the crop had recieved

the bright red and blue ribbons there was nothing left but average,

middle of the road - and they declared you the best of the mediocre.

And, at worst, the ribbon simply meant that you had a judge with a

kind heart that hated to see someone who had gone to the trouble

of entering the contest not receive a ribbon. “Oh, look at this poor

soul, he must have forgotten to take off his lenscap - let’s give him

a pink ribbon to make him feel a little better.

Whatever the reason for receiving the pink, we grew to hate

seeing it. “Why did they even bother, we’d say - I don’t want to

know if I was that close to receiving a real ribbon”

The same is similar for any sport. The derbie is being held

tonight and I can guarantee you that every one of those drivers

wants to be the last car moving in that rink when the night is

through. Every one of those drivers is probably pretty exited about

the idea of being in that competition tonight. But, once the night is

through, there will only be one victory party. The exitement for the

rest of the drivers will be gone - upset that didn’t receive the prize

money for first place. No party will be thrown just because a driver

was in the race.

Once the Olypics are over, no party will be thrown just

because a person had an opportunity to be in the Olympics. The

Party will be thrown for the athlete who takes home the gold.

If the Cubs ever make it to the World Series - there will be

exitement in Chicago. But, if the Cubs lost that Series - which I’m

sure they would - no celebration would be thrown in the streets of

Chicago just because the Cubs had made it to the World Series.

They would only celebrate in the event that the series was actually


I wonder why it is then, that if we will settle for nothing less

than number one in the arena of sports, (Second place is just best of

the last - NO FEAR) that we as believers will settle for just being a

Christian and never pursue the Best of Show. We will fight all of

our life to climb to the top of the corporate ladder, and then will

settle back and seek mere comfort in our Christianity.

I Corinthians 9:24-27, “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. Therefore I do not run

like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating

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