Caught a few minutes of the new TV game show Million Dollar Drop last night. The thing that intrigues me about these shows is the amount of money placed on getting the answer right to seemingly absurd questions. A million dollars! Can you imagine? One million dollars is yours to walk away with if, for instance, you know which actress out of the following four movies won an Academy for best actress. Who cares, right? Well, to be more accurate, there are seven questions in total you have to answer for the money but I’m not certain whether the questions get any meatier with each level. Then again the focus isn’t on the questions but the prize. As David Goldberg, chairman of Endemol North America, said in an interview about the new show, “….the questions are very accessible. You don’t have to be a game show wonk to follow it. But we’ve had grown men cry on this show. They can smell it and see it and touch it, and all they have to do is navigate this mine field.”
Then again, maybe the same applies for our salvation as well. That is, the focus is the prize – our salvation, the kingdom of heaven, etc. etc. The holy Apostle Paul makes an illusion to that affect when he writes, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But 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” (Phil. 3:12-14).
Ironically enough what St. Paul is referring to is the very salvation most Christians in the West think they’ve already attained through their mere faith and acceptance of Jesus as their Lord. Yet, whether we like it or not we’ll have to answer for our deeds nonetheless. And so we pray and improve and improve “straining toward what is ahead” as the holy apostle says.
But the burning question remains – is God just as valuable to us as $1 million? The answer to that seemingly simple question is the very one which will guarantee our true prize.