God never gives a 1st prize
The ageing, highly polished floorboards hardly groan. A young lithe figure steps forward. Elegant in her school uniform, she confidently mounts the stage
Phones are out. Eager parents, and even more eager grandparents 'snap away' on their mobile phones.
'Dux of the School' is a time to be savored.
Appropriately the audience honor her achievement. The awarding guest dignitary generously extends his right hand. The award she receives with great and due pride. Accolades all around, heads held high.
Abundant backslapping would accompany her during the subsequent celebratory supper.
Sitting in shadows a wheelchair-bound student receives no attention. Quietly, humbly, he sits with his parents. His year had held no highlights (again). Although sound of mind, he battled the pain of constant sitting. His work often interrupted as his mind clouded in pain.
Such diligent efforts, such self application, such distressing faithfulness had received no honor. His grades met no recognition. His withered person found no applause. The truth was that he had actually worked far harder, but enjoyed less success, and received no due recognition.
God never gives a first prize. We are all equal before the Throne of Grace.
Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:2-4)
The Last Word:
Elitism eludes God.