I guess the Grammy Awards were last night. I don't know. I didn't watch. I have no interest. I have no idea who won. I only know they happened because of the endless ad campaign leading up to it. I take that back, since I follow Christian rap artist Lecrae on social media, I did see him mention that he won a Grammy in some category or another. I'm happy for him.
Really, I'm happy for all the winners, I guess. I'm sure this is important to them. Many of them worked hard to get the recognition. Far be it from me to down play what this might mean to an artist's career, etc. It's just, well, I don't really care all that much.
In a few years, not many will remember. Some will continually remind us that the are "Grammy Award Winning Artist So and So." But most folks won't remember. Any more than many will remember in a couple years who won last week's Super Bowl. All the hype, all the media attention, and in a year or two the casual observer will be hard pressed to tell you who won.
I'm really not trying to be cynical. In truth, I'm a pretty competitive person. I like winning. My wife claims I cheat at board games just to win. I deny this. And we'll move on.
I like winning. I like when my team wins. I get frustrated when they don't. I like winning stuff myself. Back in high school, I won all kinds of things. I was what we called a "band jock." I have a letter jacket full of medals from State Contest for both solos and ensembles. I won the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for outstanding high school jazz musician, even though I've hardly picked up my sax in the last few years.
I was also into drama contest stuff. I have trophies for duet acting and radio speaking. I even won and award for French! (And even after taking three semesters in college, all I can do is say "My name is..." and "where's the bathroom?"). Some of that followed me to college. I won some more awards there, some with monetary value which was pretty cool.
Hey, a couple weeks ago I even took 3rd place in the chili category and the Annual Faith Southern Baptist Soup n Chili Cook-Off. I won a microwave dish cover. Good stuff. A few years back I even took first place, and still have the red cooking apron with "Faith's Chili Champ" embroidered on the front.
But here's the point. None of the things are really all that valuable today. No one but me remembers. It's not like I'm the answer to a trivia question somewhere. (Who won the 1985 Louis Armstrong Jazz Award at Windsor High School?..... uh, nobody cares, Alex) As much as those things might have meant at one time, they're just not that big a deal in the overall scheme of life.
Now, I'll confess that winning a Super Bowl might be a little more impressive that a church chili contest. Winning a Grammy will bring more fame and fortune than my state contest medal. But in the big picture of life, the universe, and everything, those things are still only temporary and fleeting.
How many Super Bowl winning players end up bankrupt? How many Grammy winners go on to a life of poverty and drug rehab and so on. It's all fleeting, just like everything else in this life. In the end, there is only one award any of us should be looking for. In the end, there is only one thing that counts.
I jokingly call it a family award. My last name is Weldon, after all. And I, for one, can't wait to get to the end of this life, and when the envelope is opened, and the winner is announced, I hear those words: "Weldon, my good and faithful servant." Okay, so that's not actually what Jesus says. He does say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant, enter into your reward." And that's what I want to hear. That's the trophy I want to win.
And I know that I only have a hope of winning it because Jesus has already won it on my behalf. All my awards, all my talents, all my efforts, they all mean nothing. But Jesus died to suffer the penalty that my sin deserves, and in it's place, He gives me His righteousness, His merit. And so on that final day, when we all stand before the throne of God, when we all answer for the lives we've lived, the good and the bad, the announcement will be made: And the winner is...Jesus Christ. And because He has given me His merit, His righteousness, I get to accept the award along with the millions of others for whom Christ died. What a day.
What are you living for? The applause of men, which is here today and gone tomorrow? Or are you living for the One who can give you an eternal reward? Are you longing to hear those words "well done, my good and faithful servant?" I hope to stand with you one day and accept our award together.