This past weekend my pastor challenged us to live a life that will result in getting gold, silver, and precious stones when we get to Heaven. He told the story of an amazing missionary woman named Amy Carmichael, someone akin to Mother Theresa, who gave her life to the people of India, rescuing children from prostitution and abuse and teaching them about how much Jesus loves them.
Her life, he said, produced heavenly gold, silver, and precious stones, and when she died they were waiting for her.
So, I wonder, must I become a Mother Theresa or an Amy Carmichael to produce gold, silver, and precious stones? That thought discourages me. I have not lived a life of great sacrifice or re-nown service.
The biggest sacrifices I’ve made have been much more mundane, like living on little sleep when breastfeeding a newborn or caring for a vomiting kid or doing laundry every day for 22 years (hmmm…that comes to over 8,000 loads of laundry!) or praying for hours with other moms for my children or going to nearly every one of my 3 kids’ countless sports events. My ministry service has come in all shapes and sizes–from ministries in the church to relationships I’ve built. But will these “sacrifices & services” translate into gold, silver, & precious stones when I get to Heaven?
I know that God does not call us all to serve as Amy or Mother Theresa did (although the thought has crossed my mind…I could be raising someone who will serve like them!). So, then, what exactly does a life that produces such beautiful gems, look like? I mean, couldn’t God be a little more specific about what He means when He says gold, silver & precious stones?
For a few days I’ve mulled this over. I’ve done my errands,completed tasks at work, gone to my daughter’s basketball game,cooked dinner,watched the Olympics–all with these questions in the back of my mind.
And it dawned on me as I watched a medals ceremony the other night that the Christian’s gold, silver, & precious stones are kinda like the Olympian’s gold, silver & bronze.
And how did they earn their rewards? By working hard, by laying it all on the ice or slopes, by giving it their all, by doing the mundane training, even when they didn’t feel like it or when it pained them to continue. They got their rewards by giving it their all, day in and day out. By their faith that they would win, by their faithfulness to the training and task, and by the fruits of their hard work (seconds shaved, technique mastered, precision gained).
Amy & Mother Theresa were without a doubt gold-medal Olympians in the “sport” that God called them to. Their faith, faithfulness and fruit were evidence that they were giving their all and doing their best for God.
The path that God has opened up for my life is my “sport.” The questions remains: am I going for the gold? Or am I just living half-heartedly? Am I giving every task my all, as if God were standing by my side, watching and cheering me on? Because,you know,He is.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.*
If I live my life all for the glory of my Heavenly Father, that is a pracious gem in His eyes. That’s what I would call going for the gold!
*1 Corinthians 10:31