Isn’t it interesting how easy we compare ourselves to other people? I know that there are considerable temptations to look at the life someone else has and to wonder what it would be like. On Monday, we took a trip to Green Bay to watch a little bit of the football practice. The crowds that gather to see practice rivals what the Minnesota Vikings get during the regular season, so there is plenty of energy in town. The players are no different from you or I. They all have families and hopes. They all have something that they are working toward. They are just people who happen to play football for a living.
There were kids, lot of kids, hanging around the fences hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite players. Some of them were even lucky enough to have a player ride their bike from the stadium to the practice field, a Green Bay tradition. The amount of attention seeking really stood out to me. Here you have some young football player on his way to work and you have people shouting at them to sign something they have.
What does this do to a person? Does it make them think more of their life than they ought to? Does it annoy them because they just want to go to work without getting hounded? I don’t know. But, as you look at the faces of so many people, there is a sense of amazement evident. I mean, look at how close these guys are to average people! This makes the minds of many people wander to what it would be like for them to be famous, to play in the NFL, and make millions of dollar to play a game. What an easy gig they have, right?
Yet, they work very hard. They run, train, study and prep for every game. They report to work and earn their pay check. They keep their bodies in shape and are always thinking about how to improve. The pressures are enormous. If they start to struggle at their position, they are cut and replaced by someone who can play it better. They put in hours and hours of time just to prepare for one game. They then do it all over again. Is that the ideal that we all want to live up to?
I get up on an average day and head to the office. There are no fans lined up outside the church looking for autographs. In fact, if I built bleachers for people to watch what I do, they would probably fall off them. There is no shop selling merchandise with the church’s name on it, or a jersey with my name on it. It is not that what I do isn’t important, it is just not football. In fact, most people will not play football, baseball, or be famous in their life and they shouldn’t feel cheated by that.
I was having this conversation with my boys last night before bed. They look at their cousin and wish they were able to stay up as long as he does. They look at all that they are able to do on vacation and wish they could just live at Grandma’s house. They are easily influenced by that mindset, as most people are.
God has us where we are for a reason and I am glad that my praise comes from Him, not from men. I would rather have God look at my life and tell me I did Him proud instead of a huge crowd of people wanting my autograph, only to forget me in a few years. You see, the truth is that no matter what we do, we must enjoy contentment in it. We must realize that there is no reason to wish we had someone else’s life, but rather to make the most out of the one we have. There have been many people who have wasted years of their life seeking things they were never meant to chase. In the end, they find out that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Sometimes the grass is dead.