Bob Tamasy: ‘Trophies! Trophies! Get Your Trophies Here!’

Monday, March 20, 2017 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Can you remember receiving a trophy for the first time? I played two years of Little League baseball, but don’t recall ever getting a trophy. I wasn’t a very good player – and my team wasn’t particularly good, either. They didn’t present trophies for mediocre.

I think my first official trophy came when I was in a Saturday morning youth bowling league. I was 13 or 14. I had bowled a high game of about 160, and with my handicap, it was the best for anyone that day. Other than that, I don’t recall winning many trophies during my pre-adult years.

These days, of course, trophies are standard equipment for any and every kids’ sport. They call them “participation trophies.
” Doesn’t matter how good you are – or if you’re good at all. You get a trophy just the same; just keep breathing and showing up for the competitions. Maybe they should hand out all the trophies on the first day and get it over with: “Trophies, trophies! Get your trophies here!” It sure could save parents a lot of time and money.

I’ll not debate the pros and cons of the everybody-gets-a-trophy philosophy. But thinking about trophies, what comes to mind is how excited we feel when we receive them, and how quickly the thrill subsides. In fact, that bowling trophy I mentioned? I have no idea where it is. I suspect my mother tossed it in the trash one day while I was away at college. Something to do in her “spare” time, I suppose.

During my career, I’ve received several plaques representing recognition for a magazine I was editing or articles I wrote. But I don’t know where those are, either. If I’d won a Pulitzer Prize, a Nobel Prize, or something of similar magnitude, I probably could locate that. But I didn’t, so that’s not a “problem” for me. Even though professional or personal honors are nice, life goes on and awards eventually become relegated to the increasingly distant past.

The Bible offers a different perspective, however. It speaks in terms of “trophies” we receive not in this life, but the next. In His “sermon on the mount,” Jesus didn’t use the term trophies, but easily could have when He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20). In the next verse, He explained why: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Competition was a metaphor the apostle Paul often used in writing to Jesus followers in various cities. In a letter to the church in Philippi, he stated, “…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me…. One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). Paul had a “trophy” in mind, but not one some human “academy” would award.

Later, addressing his protégé, Timothy, Paul again employed a sports analogy in summing his life and ministry. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). The “trophy” Paul envisioned was of far greater value and importance than any Nobel or Pulitzer, Oscar or Emmy.

These passages urge us to keep a heavenly, eternal perspective as well. Whether we’re young or old, accolades and achievements of this life will fade, often as quickly as they appeared. “Moths” and “rust” will tarnish them over time. Even being commended for serving God and His people, while gratifying, will pale in comparison to what we will see and hear when standing before our Lord at “trophy time.”

On that day, Jesus said, diligent and selfless devotion and service will be acknowledged when God tells us, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” (Matthew 25:21). That will be something worth cherishing in our eternal trophy case!

----

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also writes two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Steve Ellison: Give Yourself A Present

This time of year is a special, magical time.  The pleasures of Thanksgiving are still fresh on our minds.  The anticipation of Christmas joy looms large on the horizon.  Most of us are inclined to be kinder and gentler than we are much of the rest of the year.  We are more inclined to be tolerant of other people, thus more disposed to choose to be happy.  ... (click for more)

LDS Church On Signal Mountain To Host Live Nativity

The Signal Mountain branch (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) will host a live nativity for residents of Signal Mountain and the greater Chattanooga area. The event will be held for two nights:  Dec. 12  and  13, from 6-8 p.m  at the Signal Mountain LDS chapel located at  1169 Ridgeway ... (click for more)

Clerk Shot During Holdup At Lee Highway Convenience Store Early Saturday Morning

A clerk was shot during a holdup at a convenience store on Lee Highway early Saturday morning. Paul Evans, 24, has non-life threatening injuries. At approximately  12:56 a.m.  Chattanooga Police responded to a person shot call at the Mapco at 6200 Lee Highway.   Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police officers located the victim. He told police that a man armed ... (click for more)

Woman Shot Twice By Estranged Boyfriend In Front Of Multiple People At Her Home In Dalton

A woman's estranged boyfriend entered her residence in Dalton on Friday night and shot her twice in front of a group of people, authorities said. Heather Renee Griffin, 42, was transported to Hamilton Medical Center and later transferred to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Police are searching for Bertram Gerome Beck in the incident. At 7:35 p.m., the Whitfield County ... (click for more)

Connie McDade Enriched The Lives Of Hundreds Of Students

The message about Connie McDade was very touching. I was one of Connie's professors at UTC and thankfully she excelled anyway.  She was an enthusiastic educator, an exceptional person and generous individual.  She was a devoted teacher, loving wife, wonderful mentor and someone who will continue to bring joy to others beyond this life.   Future students ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last You’d Suspect

Back when Bill Lenz launched Christ the Rock Community Church, the idea was to spread the gospel in Menasha, Wisc. but Bill and his brother Bob soon found they were dealing with people in trauma situations – drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, the homeless, and suicide prevention. As the church grew, they started an offshoot ministry called “Solid Rock” that deals with suicide ... (click for more)