I saw an amazing display of creativity recently. My granddaughter Catherine entered a cake contest at a local school. Since we were visiting, we got to be in on the event. There were all kinds of cakes. There were pool cakes and mountain cakes, cakes with snow scenes and volcanoes. But it wasn’t in the display of cakes where we saw the real creativity. This was a “everybody-wins and no-one-loses” kind of contest – equality at its finest. So each of the over 100 cakes there won a ribbon – and each of the over 100 cakes there won a ribbon for a different category! I was in awe of the creative ability of the judges to come up with that many different award categories. It did make for a very lengthy award ceremony, however, as each person’s category was announced and they were presented with a ribbon. Everyone was a winner!
What a convenient plan, but it does raise some questions. Why bother to do your best? Why enter in the first place? And how meaningful is a ribbon that is given to everyone – regardless of their cake? There were some cakes there that were not ribbon-worthy! Others were an impressive display of skill and creativity. (Catie’s was the best, of course, but who’s going to believe a grandmother.)
Some people believe our lives are like that cake contest? Everyone’s a winner – you just have to “enter” to get a blue ribbon at the end. However, Scripture makes it clear that there will be a day of judgment – a day when we will be accountable for our lives. The wonderful news is that God has given us the perfect recipe to receive an eternal blue ribbon. It won’t say, “Purest Life,” or “Most Good Deeds.” There won’t be a ribbon for the “Most Righteous,” or “Perfect Attendance at Church.” Your ribbon will be dipped in blood and declare you to be “A Child of God.” What an amazing award ceremony that will be. Even though none of us has lived a ribbon-worthy life, we will be declared an eternal winner and invited to share in the glorious reward planned for us by our Creator.