There is a glory more enduring than World Cup

Ivan Neish with Christopher, Lydia and Maurice McClay at the Mill   INNT 15-438-RM
Ivan Neish with Christopher, Lydia and Maurice McClay at the Mill INNT 15-438-RM

As I write this article, it is no exaggeration to say that the country is in the grip of a fever. For these few weeks, it is the topic of conversation for both adults and children.

For some, meal times have to berearranged and bedtimes deferred so that every moment of the drama can be witnessed. Even people who usually have no interest, seem to have an opinion on the most recent controversy. Grown men have been reduced to tears. Others have been seen to leap up and down, screaming uncontrollably,and many have suddenly become experts in something they have never actually done.

Add to this the actual events on the other side of the world. Think of the thousands of pounds thatindividuals spent to be there. It is estimated that Brazil will profit by some 100million pounds by hosting this football extravaganza. Consider the training and discipline off the pitch, the energy sapping effort on the pitch, the drama, protests, dives, fouls, bites, appeals, and you have the event that is the World Cup finals. For many people there is just nothing else on the planet that can come near to this greatest of all sporting occasions. For some life is football. It is as simple as that.

By the time you read this, it will all be over. The crowds have gone home, the stadiums are silent, the victorious team has received the ultimate accolade and the rest are left to think what might have been.

For many people, the end couldn’t come soon enough. It is indeed amazing to think that a small gold trophy and all that goes with it can create such passion and commitment. The day will come when these events will only be a distant memory for a few. The glory will soon fade. It is as fleeting as life itself.

It is, however, possible to live for something that will last forever. It is possible to give ourselves for a crown that will never fade. The Bible tells us about it. It will be given to those who have lived for Jesus Christ and who have invested their lives for his Kingdom. This begins when we turn to him for forgiveness and trust in him alone to make us right with God and give us real and abundant life.

It continues as we endeavour with his power to live to please him and to use our gifts in the work of the gospel. This may sound like a raw deal, giving everything and receiving nothing. The truth is the opposite. We find that it is in giving that we receive and are blessed more than we could ever imagine.

We also have the pleasure of knowing that we have spent our lives in the pursuit of a goal which lasts throughout eternity.

We know these things are true, because the Son of God came to this world, declared it to us and died to make it possible.

If this were to be the last day of your life, what would be your greatest regret? That you had not watched more football, had more holidays or would it be something deeper. I suspect that you might regret that life was over and you had not lived for that crown of life which will never perish. It is never too late to start. The Bible tells us that today is the day of salvation. It is the only day we are guaranteed. It’s not what we enjoy that matters, but what we live for. What is it for you?