There was a lot of jubilation in Washington, D.C. last night. Its ice hockey team, the Capitals, after 44 years of trying, finally won the prestigious Stanley Cup. Throngs of fans crowd inside and around the Capital One Center jumped and cheered their hometown team each time they scored and then erupted into frenzied celebration even before the last half-second ended. Bigger crowds can be expected to welcome their champions when they return bringing home the coveted trophy.
Last night and the following days are moments of glory for the Washington fans and their team and, as the caption flashed on the TV screen, probably everyday for a long time.
It is amazing how two competing teams trying to hit a rubber disk with their golf-like stick into a goal could excite the interest and imagination of those who watched the game, egging their team on to winning and finally grabbing the prize.
Even during the time of St. Paul, competitive sports drew huge enthusiastic crowds but he singled out running races, and he talks about this in his letter to the Corinthians.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable [prize]. "(1 Cor 9:24-25)
We are not only spectators in this competition, or fight, or race called life. We are the players, the fighters, the runners, the racers. We are working, not for a Stanley Cup, or a golden trophy, or a black belt. Our goal is to win a heavenly imperishable prize . . . eternal life with God.
Our coach is the Eternal Son of God Himself, and our supporters and cheerers are those who have themselves earned this reward. When we emerge triumphant they are the ones that will welcome us home.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day." (2 Timothy 4:7)
This fight, this race of our life we cannot afford to lose.#