There is a price for winning. Sometimes we can see our sports heroes gladly giving up their health, freedom, and relationships for the game; most of the time the price paid is the grit of life that goes unreported. Even when we become aware of their sacrifice we tend to quickly rationalize the cost equation by adding the offsetting money earned and perceived lifestyle. I wonder if we would pay the price for winning if we knew and understood the details from the beginning. Would we proceed? What if there was no question that the stakes were higher than any other thing in this world? Would we still pursue the price?
When one is in the right zone of competition there is a reflective description that centers on a common theme. Those with a spiritual bent give their competitive drive a name; it is a “calling”. If one is pursuing a career in entertainment then the description slightly changes; words like obsession, gift, and desire all come into focus. In sports the drive starts so young that people rarely if every ask the questions before the pattern and path are established beyond change. The cost of entering the game is willingly paid, not because it is understood or even considered; the focus is on the prize! Nothing else matters.
John didn’t see anything different for those who paid the price for a relationship with God. “These are those who come from the great tribulation, and they’ve washed their robes, scrubbed them clean in the blood of the Lamb. That’s why they’re standing before God’s Throne. They serve him day and night in his Temple. The One on the Throne will pitch his tent there for them: no more hunger, no more thirst, no more scorching heat. The Lamb on the Throne will shepherd them, will lead them to spring waters of Life. And God will wipe every last tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7.15-17)
What calls us to live, really live and experience life? In the answer to this question “God” can come into focus.