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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The baseball season ended today. The A's didn't (why is spellcheck telling me didn't is spelled wrong?) do very well at all this year, especially in the second half. The weird part for me is that back in March, I got to go to spring training in AZ and do a video with some of the players for 2K sports.

In March, every single one of the players are bright-eyed and bushy tailed. They all think they're team is going to make the playoffs and possibly win the World Series. All of the players are there in AZ with their wives and girlfriends having a great time. And even though I was only there two days, I could tell that for most of the players, it seems like one huge fraternity. Players from separate teams were hanging out with each other and coaches from different teams doing the same. It's exciting to be around that.

Now it's September. The season is over. But for a lot of those guys, the season was over just a few short months after the season started. It has to be a weird feeling to work in a profession where you literally bust your hump to workout, eat right, train and stay on top of your game for the 5 months your team is off during the off-season, only to play for a team that is out of contention from the get-go.

I can't imagine working behind a desk all day, towards some huge goal like "The Corporate Super Bowl" or something, only to know that you have absolutely no shot at winning it, from a very early point in the season. I wonder how athletes stay motivated to perform well, stay in shape, eat right and get fired up to keep playing when it becomes obvious there's really no need to because your team sucks. Pride? Money? The fans? I wonder how they stay motivated.

Sure it would be nice to be payed millions to play a game for a living, 6 months out of the year. It'd be nice to have all the fame, fortune, perks and everything else that goes with it. But then what. What do you do with the rest of your time? What do you when after 10 years, you can't play the game anymore? What do you fall back on? What happens when the fans turn on you? What happens when girls stop wanting to hang out with you? What happens when you feel empty inside because in the end, it really is just a game?

That's why as I grow a little older and wiser, and especially these last few months, I'm glad that God called me to be a pastor. It's a 24/7/365 job that has no off-season. In ten years I won't be too old to do it, in fact in ten years I'll be better at it than I am now. God won't turn on me. My "fans" won't demand I get traded. (Alright, maybe they will) And I definitely won't have an empty feeling inside of me wondering "what's next?"

There's a reason I never felt compelled to move to Los Angeles to pursue my passion of entertaining. I believe it's because in the end, I would have felt empty and incomplete. Yes I'm 30, and yes it sucked the last 12 years not knowing what I was called to do, but I think becoming a pastor will allow me a lot of the same perks as being an athlete or celebrity. Not the financial or fame perks, but things like being able to move my schedule around to spend more time with my family, being able to attend my children's events and things during the middle of the week in the afternoons, being able to travel and experience the world without worrying if I have enough vacation time and things like that.

I had this thought today of how strange it must be for athletes to have 5 months of non-stop "go go go" and everything that goes along with that, then for it to stop IMMEDIATELY on September 28th. I'd rather have a tad more consistency in my life so that when I do experience downtime, it won't be so long until I get to use my skills again.
posted by Ricky @ 7:44 PM  
  • At 9/30/2008 07:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't forget that you have to fight for that family time. It is very easy for the lines to be blurred and ministry to spill into your personal life and take time away from what matters most. Just remember that your Family is your first and most important ministry before everyone else. Wether you are a pastor or not.
    Love you,

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