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.


Eric Youngblood: Hungry, Stuck, And Alone

Like Gilligan, you were on an enchanted cruise, only in the South Pacific. Ominous skies turned the sea angry and your small vessel capsized, but fortunately, near a lovely island. You eventually make it to land with a profound sense of relief. But all your provisions have been pilfered by the ocean and water has short-circuited all your communications equipment. You are hungry, ... (click for more)

Local Husband/Wife Duo Spread #GoodNews With Uplifting Video Shot In Chattanooga

Husband and wife duo Carlous and Janelle share music Video for their song "Good News," released from their debut album, “ Jesus Christ .” The video can be viewed at  https://www.facebook.com /CarlousandJanelle/videos/1320 573674656972/ The video was filmed in downtown Chattanooga and the message is resonating locally and worldwide. The video has been viewed more than 15,000 ... (click for more)

County School Teachers To Get 3% Raise Under Balanced County School Budget

Hamilton County Schools teachers are slated to get three percent pay increases under the balanced budget approved by the School Board on Thursday afternoon. That comes on top of a two percent hike last year. Lee McDade, assistant superintendent, said a large influx of cash came from the state, and Governor Bill Haslam outlined that it was to raise the pay level for teachers. ... (click for more)

Law Enforcement Shuts Down Convenience Store Near College Hill Courts As Public Nuisance

Law enforcement on Thursday took steps to shut down a convenience store near the College Hill Courts as a public nuisance. The action was taken after District Attorney Neal Pinkston filed a petition with Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz about the Westside Shop. The store is operated by Salma Ambo, and the real property is owned by AAA Investment Properties LLC. The petition ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response (2)

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: County Commissioners Not Getting Bang For Their School Bucks

The Hamilton County School Board passed a balanced budget to present to the County Commission at a Special Called Meeting on Thursday night. They also attached a prioritized list of $24.5 million in critical needs for the County Commission to consider that will never see the light of day. The long and short of it is easy to see -- the County Commissioners have had enough. It ... (click for more)