Peace in who you are

29 year old NFL quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the sports world on Saturday night by announcing his retirement.  The owner of the team said Luck walked away from an estimated $500,000,000.  That is 500 million dollars.  He said Luck had made about $100 million in his career thus far, so I guess he will likely be OK.  Many players hang on and do whatever they can at the end of their careers to play one more year.  Most people do not remember that the Steelers’ Franco Harris played his final year with the Seattle Seahawks.  Joe Montana hung in there and went from the 49ers to the Chiefs at the end of his career.  Tom Brady is 42, still with the Patriots and wants to play as long as he can. Each person has their own reasons for continuing to play or for retiring.

In Luck’s willingness to walk away from being an NFL quarterback, there is a lesson to us as Jesus’ followers.  We must be careful about where we find our worth.  Sometimes we can mistake what we do with who we are.  Some married couples identify as parents so much that they are lost when their kids grow up.  Some people go into depression when they lose their job because their job became who they were.  Pastors of churches often struggle when they find their worth in the ministry and realize they are unable to please all of the members of the congregation.

I am no therapist, but Andrew Luck’s willingness to walk away from football leads me to believe that he does not find his worth in football.  I read in an article that he is a follower of Jesus.  If that is true, it makes more sense that he could walk away from football, because he would be first and foremost a child of God.  When we see our worth in what we do or in affirmations from others, we are crushed when those things wane, which they all eventually will.  But when we see ourselves as beloved children of the King of Creation, that is enough.  So whatever failings, whatever disappointments, whatever is taken from me, whatever I am called to walk away from, it does not change who I am.  And who I am is a child of God.  That is where I find my identity and where I find my worth.  There is peace to be found what you can repeat the song lyrics, “Jesus is all the world to me”.  He will never let you down.

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