What I’m getting ready to say, I say not as a pessimist, not as someone who sours on life, but as someone who wades knee-deep in the pain of average people every day. Too many of us allow the stresses, strains, and anxieties of life to rob us of our ability to enjoy today. And truthfully, if you don’t enjoy today, and you don’t have the promise of tomorrow, then your life pretty much sucks. This was highlighted recently in the acceptance speech of Jerry Rice as he was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.
Believed by some to be the greatest football player who ever lived, Rice revealed that not one day passed during his professional career that he enjoyed playing. Think of that. Not one day. Not the day they won the Super Bowl. Not the day he broke the yardage record, receiving record, and every other record there is for a player at his position.
He said when the season was over, he took two weeks off and went right back to work, training and disciplining himself to be ready for the next year. And God bless Jerry, he was honest enough to admit what a lot of people hide: that his main drive was fear – the fear of failure. No joy of doing your best, no joy of being on a great team, no joy of reaching the height of your profession, no joy of being a positive role model for literally millions of children, no joy of plenty of money in the bank. And those of us who watch from a distance, who think that professional athletes have it made, had to have had our bubble burst at least a little bit when the greatest of them all, Jerry Rice, admitted he has no joy.
I am going to beg you, from the bottom of my heart, to find joy in your everyday life. Please, I beg you. Do not lose the joy living in the moment. Not for the moment, that’s stupid. But in the moment, because this is the only day you have. This is the day the Lord has made, and we will choose to rejoice and be glad no matter where we are, what we find ourselves up against; no matter what fear or anxiety, or worry attacks our soul. We will smile with joy in our heart knowing we are loved, we are known, and we are safe in the arms of a Savior who paid the ultimate price to restore our peace, our joy, and our life.