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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Am the Best

Tuesday evening my son George and I initiated a new agreement.  George owns a car detailing business and we have agreed for a monthly fee, he will detail my Mazda CX9 on each Tuesday of every week.  I took my car to his home for the first installment of our agreement.  I watched him work on my car with passion for more than two hours.  He has a van stocked full of equipment and supplies.  During that time I heard him repeat to himself several times while working “I am the best.”  By the time he was done, I had to admit I had never seen anyone detail my car with such zeal, thoroughness, and skill.  In my reference to his statement about being the best, he said, “I simply am.  I’m not arrogant or conceited, but I’m simply the best.”

To me this was a liberating concept.  Too often as a second string guy, I have been shackled by the notion that first string guys are not only good, but that they are taken by their own goodness—that they are bound to be somewhat arrogant and conceited.  It seldom occurs to me that they could face a simple fact—that they are the best—with humility and grace. Of course they will be proud of their excellence as anyone would be, but this pride can be a good kind of pride, not destructive and overweening.  Really, when one looks at it, my tendency to have begrudging envy and resentment at first string players is seeded in my own arrogance and conceit.  My prayer is that I will be able to celebrate excellence even when it is not at my own hands; that I will be able to muster as much humility and grace in my lesser attempts as those at the top of their game—even when that game is one in which I am destined to play second or third string.  Someday it will fully and finally sink into my brain that others are often more deserving than myself—and that it is my proper role to face reality with humility, grace, and even joy at the towering achievement of others.

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