Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good or Great?

This past weekend I was checking on my fantasy baseball team, and stumbled across this article on Josh Hamilton.

Last year Josh Hamilton made headlines as the feel-good, comeback story of the year. He had seemingly beaten his demons, and got his life back on track. He dazzled us with tape-measure shots in the homerun derby, he was a happy go-lucky guy who was making the most of his second chance in the big leagues. His story was almost unbelievable. Sports Illustrated did a feature story on him (read about it here) in which he talks about his Christianity and how it has helped him on this journey.

Fast forward to last weekend, where the story comes out that earlier this year Josh Hamilton relapsed while working out in Arizona. Even with all the safeguards in place, Josh managed to slip into old habits... the kind that never seem to fully go away. But after reading the article I wasn't upset with him. Sure it was disappointing, but I didn't think any less of him. In fact, I think I thought more highly of him. There's a line in the story that stuck with me: “I don’t feel like I’m a hypocrite,” Hamilton said. “I feel like I’m human.” Now this is a guy who understands
what it means to be a Jesus follower. We all screw up. From the drug addict, to the guy who cheats on his taxes, to Josh Hamilton who ended up licking whipped cream off the body of some random woman.

I think the part that caught me the most happens about halfway down. In the previous weeks, Hamilton, so focused on his preseason conditioning at Athletes’ Performance training facility in Tempe, scuttled his routine. He said God helped him stay sober, and when he cut out Bible study and prayer in favor of longer workouts, the devil pounced. I think we do this more often than we might realize. We settle for good instead of great. There's nothing wrong with working out more, in fact it's really good for you. But when you cut out the great in favor of good, you're missing out. Nothing wrong with putting in some extra time at work, but when it's cutting out family time you're heading into sketchy territory. There's nothing wrong with hanging out with the guys, but when it's replacing hanging out with your wife, that's a recipe for trouble.

How do you give up the great and settle for good?

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