How far can you see?

When I was in the 6th grade, I had a life defining and value shaping experience. It was in health class, taught by the same man who taught PE, and he also was the track coach, I don’t remember his name. He had a Snickers candy bar, my favorite, and a $10 bill in his hand. He said, “I can give you the Snickers now or the $10 bill in one month”, “which one will you choose”? Back when I was in the 6th grade I could buy a Snickers for 5 cents, so the choice was one Snickers now or 20 in one month. He then went on to say, “A little kid will take the Snickers every time because they can’t “see” a month away”. He went on to say, “At some point in their growing up they will be able to see that far, and then they will make the wise choice, that is called ‘Maturity’, but the sad thing is many never grow up and become mature, and they keep living for the now instead of the future, and keep making low value and unwise choices in life”. As my PE teacher taught this lesson to a room of a dozen 12 year old boys I clearly remember thinking to myself and making a personal resolve, that I wouldn’t think, act, and choose like a kid, I would “delay gratification” for the wise choice, the choice with true and lasting value. I made that resolve the best a young boy can, but I have remade that same commitment over and over again in my 58 years of living since that time. That lesson pops into my head regularly as I choose whether I am going to read my Bible now or tomorrow, give money to God or spend it on myself, and this principle is very powerful in maintaining moral purity, so many choices seem nice now, but they have a huge price tag in the future. The problem is many can’t “see” that far.

I talk and teach a lot about the “Judgment Seat of Christ”, that event that occurs at the end of our life when we enter heaven and stand before Jesus and are rewarded for the works we have done in this life. These rewards are significant and eternal, their value is 100 fold greater than any reward on earth. As I teach this truth to a room of people, I often think, there are many hearing this who can’t “see” that far, it doesn’t compute, they will continue to make choices based on the “now” instead of the “then”. Thank You, Lord, for a PE teacher that You used in my life, so that I can now “see”.

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