Friday, December 18, 2009

The Good Life...

Tiger Woods has been named the athlete of the decade. This award came following revelations that Tiger has had several affairs. It now appears that Tiger's wife Elin will file for divorce.

I read that odds makers in Vegas are taking bets on how much money she will get in the divorce. (Can you imagine the pain of knowing the details of your divorce are being bet on?)

Have you ever heard someone say:

"If I had a wife as beautiful as her, I'd never cheat."

"I would never be that stupid. How could someone so talented be that dumb?"

"If I had that much money, I would never make that mistake."

We are quick to judge Tiger based on the assumption that we would be wiser than him. We think that if we had the good life, we would never make choices that would endanger that life. We imagine that if we had the talent, or the money that he has, we would never place ourselves in that much risk.

But I have to ask... would we really be wiser?

If life was compared to a newspaper, we would quickly admit that the part of the paper we focus on the most is the advertisements.* In fact, we make the advertisements our purpose in life. This only makes sense because advertisers do an excellent job of making their product look like the key ingredient to the good life.

Wear our clothes... you will be viewed as attractive.
Drink our beer... cool people will want to hang out with you.
Drive our cars... people will want to be like you.

We chase these ads because we think they are the key to the good life.

Perhaps instead of chasing the advertisements, we should focus more on the obituary section of the newspaper.

I have yet to read an obituary that told what kind of clothes were worn by the deceased.
I have yet to read an obituary that told me what kind of beer they drank.
I have yet to read an obituary that told me what kind of car they drove.

But I have read many obituaries that related how great of a father the man was. I have read obituaries that talk about how generous they were. I have read about how their life was given in service to others. I have read how the family still living will miss the one who has passed on.

Isn't that what we really want in life?

We want the good life, but we will give it up to chase the advertisements.

Let's stop focusing on the ads and start chasing what we want our obituary to say.

*Inspired by an article written by John Ortberg


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