Run For the Ring – A Banded Brothers devotional

Last week, a visit with an old buddy and a new ring started a great conversation.

My cousin Eddie Gray has worked hard for over 30 years building a reputation in the Garner community as a caring but no nonsense educator and coach. We had a nice chat about every thing from family to high school basketball.  His latest claim to fame was leading his Garner High School Trojans to the 4A State Championship this past season.

I enjoyed something he had just acquired. There it was  …….  standing boldly on his ring finger. The State Championship ring he and his team were awarded for their championship victory. You might say diamonds are a girls best friend but this ring was impressive. Any man would be proud and honored to have his finger adorned with such an impressive evidence of achievement.

Among the many items at hand for the coach following the win was the task of ordering the rings. It is customary for the coaches and each player to receive a ring. As he began the process, he was quickly approached by others wanting to be added to the ring list.  We had a colorful chat around the “run for a ring”.

This is very typical of our human nature, isn’t it ??? We are quick to jump on the winning bandwagon. Eager to twist, turn and wiggle into the winning team photo. We all covet the chance to clip a string on the net. The spotlight draws us like a potent drug. As Christians, it’s essential that we maintain humbleness in our lives. Even when tempted by the lure of celebrity, it’s important to celebrate the accomplishments of others and stand aside with applause and thanksgiving. When we act internally, we are rewarded eternally. A verse in 1 Peter says “let your actions be a hidden person of the heart, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

There is absolutely do doubt that the coaches and players deserve a ring. They are the ones who sacrificed long, hot and exhaustive hours in the gym preparing for such an accomplishment. This ring will be a life long reminder for each player and coach of a very special season in their life. For all others, let’s remember the words of 1 Peter and not “let our adorning be external”. I always enjoy spending time with Coach Gray. He’s the closest thing I have to a brother and I am honored to be part of his life. We’ve got a trip planned soon back to our family’s roots down east.  I am looking forward to our time together. Maybe I can talk him into getting me a ring.

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