Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Start with a penny…

Is your life just a bigger and better race?
When I was a teen, we used to play the “Bigger and Better Race” game. Each team was given a penny and had to go out into our city to trade up from the penny to something bigger and better. We would usually have a 2-3 hour timeframe to finish the race and then we would be rewarded, as a team, based on what very cool item we came back with.

Most of the time, the first few trades were easy. We could move up by gaining some cash - penny to a quarter to a dollar to five to ten and twenty, etc. Once we hit about $20 in cash or value, we would really have to do some wheelin’ and dealin’ to grow in the race. Many teams would give up, rather than push on to try to win. Some would go all over the city to improve their standing.
These are some examples of the end results:
  1. A BBQ grill - it actually worked too...no meat though...
  2. A queen bed and mattresses - kind of ugly, but it was big...
  3. A boom-box - not so big, but back in the day…
  4. A blanket - this one was weak…
  5. Car jack...not the little one in your truck, but a huge one…NASCAR style...
  6. A team came back with some food once - they spent the money they grew on fast-food...for themselves...actually, they came back with paper bags...
  7. 20$
  8. A car - for real - a car - a team came back with an old junker, but it drove…they won.

The game was a lot of fun and a challenge, but it made me think about my life and other’s too.
I think we all struggle some with the constant desire to have more, have better and have bigger. A bigger house. A newer car. A nicer vacuum. A flatter flatscreen. The newest phone. A larger paycheck. A cooler air conditioner. A nicer deck. A faster lawnmower, with quicker zero turn, a sharper blade setup, a huge bagger, a windshield and top, a cooled cup holder, a stereo/CD system, air conditioning, lights with high-beams, a coffee maker...been thinking on this one for a while.
You get the picture - we like to have more and better.
We like to keep moving forward with more and more.
It’s a challenge and advertisers love to get us into a competition with ourselves and comparing ourselves to others too.
What’s my point?
I think it’s fantastic to never be satisfied with the past successes in life or to sit still upon the completions we’ve had in the past. We can’t sit on our laurels - whatever those are? (I looked it up - it’s kind of like a shrub, so we can’t sit on our shrub experiences? What? No really, it’s what the leaf crowns were made of years ago, so it means we can’t sit on our awards or successes). I think we should all try to improve in life.
On the other hand, we shouldn't become envious of others or covet what they have or be frustrated by what we do not have. Simply, we should be satisfied with our lot in life, in regards to the now of where we are. I think that many sit back and just desire what everyone else has in the bigger and better race of life. 
I think God made us competitive to keep us motivated, but not to keep us envious.
Lessons Learned: Keep improving, but don’t be disappointed by what you have. Surely, there’s more to life that just racing to the top of the money and stuff pile.
Thoughts: Are you running the bigger and better race in life right now? What are you letting pile up? 

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