There was a Character Award ceremony in my kids’ school this week. Both of them were getting an award so we received an invitation to come for the ceremony. It was interesting that both of them were getting the same award for “optimism”. To be honest, their report cards are not so great academically but to see them getting awarded for their character was not only fulfilling but insightful.
During the ceremony, it dawned on me that though there are many students who are academically excellent since this was a character award, they are not getting any awards at least in “this” ceremony. This made me think about the importance of knowing what kind of ceremony is waiting for us at the end of our lives.
It is so easy to think and believe that we are living our lives for “performance award”. As a result, many people pursue achieving great things and amassing great wealth. But it would be unfortunate to realize at the end of our lives that the award ceremony is based on something else.
At the end of our lives, a ceremony will happen twice in different places. On earth, it will happen in our funeral. We will realize that our accomplishments and wealth would be the last thing people talk about us at our funeral. What will get talked about would be our character. We will be “awarded” by people by what kind of person we were, not what kind of car we drove or what kind of career we had.
Then I found it very interesting that there were only two categories of awards during this ceremony: Perseverance and Optimism. Perseverance is the ultimate form of faith and optimism is finding hope in the midst of trials. In heaven, God will hold an award ceremony for those who lived for him. (Rev 19:7) It will also be about perseverance and optimism. It is because living as a Christ follower is to live as the bride of Christ until we see Jesus. So it is ultimately about how much we stay faithful and hopeful through every season as evidence of trusting in him. As I realized these two qualities in our lives will be awarded at the end of our lives before God, it reminded me to see life in a much clearer view.
Remembering these ceremonies that will happen on earth and heaven at the end of our lives should help us to live with the right priority and attitude.