Briefly, why do we idolize being first and disfavor being last? Often last trumps first. Here are some real-life examples depicting in the end first does not matter.

  • The winner of games believed winning was not just everything but was the only thing. Yet this winner died, as everyone else does and with a broken heart. He could not take the winner reputation with him.
  • A coach with multiple championships was extolled for his winnings, but those closest to him showed him little respect because of his immorality.
  • Another famous executive said: “My goal was to be the top in my profession, yet as a father I was close to last.”
  • A very wealthy man became well known for his incredible business, but he made others last and lost any loyalty and honesty.
  • On one of the best-ever fishing days, a seiner gave up his goal to catch thousands of dollars of fish for himself to help a fellow seiner with a broken boat. His first became last for a humanitarian cause.
  • A stranger gave his 40′ RV to a single mother when a fire destroyed everything she and her children owned. He exhibited putting others first.

Is giving up everything to be first worth it? Is it a disgrace to be last? Is it really terrible to live in an old house, drive an old car, wear a used wristwatch, lose a game, become second in a two-person race?

In hindsight, the first is not in the winning or having the most materially. Rather, the first just might be delighting in the journey, exhilarating in the contest, fighting the battle with fire. The last does become first when you give your best and do it the right way.

Jesus said: “The first will be last and the last will be first.” Heaven’s value system is far different than earth’s value system. God sees the heart and will reward accordingly.