What matters: running to win the prize

There is a lot of national hand-wringing over Canada’s medal production at the London ‘Bronze’ games.

  • Aug. 31, 2012 5:00 p.m.


by Duane Goerzen


There is a lot of national hand-wringing over Canada’s medal production at the London ‘Bronze’ games.

The standard was set for Canada to place in the top 12 of the medal standings, and we fell just short – 13th place.

I don’t know what it is, we have a lot of great athletes in this country, but on the world stage we have a tough time finding that top level of overall consistency.

Kudos to the women’s soccer team. Here is group of ladies who came in ranked 11th in the world and almost took down the powerhouse U.S. team (I will not comment about the officiating here, except to say that I found it interesting that she didn’t get to ref any more games).

Congratulations to all the medal winners. This is a feat that bears celebrating.

To conquer all comers on the world stage is an amazing thing, and these folks are worthy of the satisfaction that they get to enjoy.

But the satisfaction is only as good as the next competition.

Success in our world is very fleeting – just ask Ben Johnson, or Roberto Luongo.

Lou won Olympic gold with our beloved men’s hockey squad here in Vancouver – the very town he plays for professionally – and here we are a couple years down the road and he is all but done as a sports entity in this market.

Success is fleeting.

It’s one thing to attain the championship, it’s a whole other thing to retain that champion status.

Win it this year and you are a hero. Lose it next year, and you are yesterday’s news.

When I sold cars for Scott Jones at West Coast Toyota, I always made it my goal to be the top producer for the month. It was a great goal, and I actually attained it a couple of times.

But I almost always got beat out by God’s gift to Toyota sales, my good friend Kalim.

All that said, I had my share of success in Toyota-land, but it didn’t matter how many I sold in a month, the next month we all started again at ground zero (except if you worked for Jimmy Pattison in the hey-day…if you were the low man on the sales stats, you often found yourself pursuing alternate employment).

Success is fleeting. Which brings us back to the question of the month: what really matters?

The last couple weeks I have spoken about the issues of the brevity of life coupled with the importance of prioritizing our significant relationships, then this whole issue of living our days well because our health can never be guaranteed.

How do you quantify success?

Sports, beauty, popularity, economics, all offer temporary satisfaction.

But most of us have come to realize that at the end of the day it never really lasts, does it?

Trophies get outdated, beauty sags and bulges, popularity wanes , and money just can’t quite buy enough of what really matters.

Paul is a prominent figure in the Bible. In one of his letters he wrote this: “ … forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Inasmuch as I have strove for success in many areas of life, this is what I live for: God is faithful and His unfailing love has forever changed my life.

My sights are higher than anything this world could ever offer me.

What really matters is that God loves me and He has done everything necessary to restore a relationship with me.

That is a prize that I will carry into eternity. It will never tarnish, rust, or expire.

I get to win the race, forever. And so can you. That’s what really matters.

Duane Goerzen is lead

pastor at Maple Ridge

Community Church.