God doesn’t care how many games you win. I’m convinced of that. Winning doesn’t impress him. After all, he’s God.

God doesn’t care how many all-stars you collect on your travel team. I’m convinced of that too.

Nor does he care what a great coach or player you appear to be in the eyes of your peers.

Center your goals around winning games, collecting all-stars, and appearing to be great and there’s a good chance you’ll experience more than your fair share of turmoil along the way. Now, let’s be clear. If you win with a team of all-stars and appear to be great in everyone’s eyes, your turmoil might not come from other people. Yet it will still exist, if only deep inside you.

Proverbs 15:16—”Better is a little with the fear of The Lord, than great treasure and turmoil with it.”

You see, no amount of “treasure” you collect in this world can truly satisfy your soul. Sure, it can mask some of your pain, even numb it for a while. But later, when you’re all alone, the emptiness returns. You know who you are inside. You know how miserable it is to get all you ever thought you wanted and still be unfulfilled. That’s the turmoil you experience.

You celebrate wins. You coach players who reach the next level. You receive the praise and adulation of important people in your field. Deep down, however, you know it means nothing. You would trade it all for a little peace in your soul.

That’s what God was talking about in Proverbs 15:16. It’s only through the “fear” of The Lord that you experience the wholeness and peace that winning, all-stars, and awards can never bring. Fear of The Lord—reverence, giving him his due, trembling at his displeasure, honoring him with every part of your life—that’s where fulfillment begins, even if you never win much, never coach any all-stars, never gain any recognition beyond your team (and sometimes it doesn’t even happen there).

Player, coach, parent, I can’t stress enough how deceiving this all can be. You and I can be fooled easily. We fall prey to the mindset of the masses, thinking and believing and living as if some on-the-field performance will complete us. I beg of you to believe something different, something true. Center your life around the fear of The Lord, beginning with complete surrender to Jesus, the one who loved you and gave his life for you. He alone will complete you. He alone can.

Lord Jesus, all of me. Take all of me. I give you my trust, my life, my goals, my emptiness, all of me. Fill me, change me, live in and through me.