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What Really Matters Most?

What Really Matters Most?
by Dan Chambers

Did you catch the Super Bowl Sunday night? I bet a lot of you did. After all, I read today that it averaged 96.4 million viewers. I was one of those 96.4 million, and I was rooting for the Bucs. Well, it’s more accurate to say I was rooting for Tom Brady, the quarterback of the Bucs. And in case you’re not a football fan and haven’t heard, my guy won. Brady led the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a surprising and decisive win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be pulling for Tom Brady some day, I would have said you were crazy. You see, in his early days, I couldn’t stand the guy. He just won way too much for my taste. Of course, I would have felt differently had he been on my favorite team. But, since he wasn’t on my favorite team, my policy for years was to root for whoever was playing against him.

But times have changed. Now I just love seeing excellence and I love seeing new heights of greatness. I love seeing people do things that have never been done before. And, boy, is Tom Brady doing things that no one has ever done. For instance, Sunday night he became the first person over the age of 40 (he’s 43) to win a championship and be named the game’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in any of the four major North American professional sports leagues. Of course, he has also played in more Super Bowls than anybody (10), he has won more Super Bowls than anybody (7), and he has won more Super Bowl MVPs than anybody (5).

Because of his accomplishments on the football field—and the fact that he’s married to perhaps the most famous supermodel in the world—he’s a global icon. When his team won on Sunday night, an almost endless parade of other icons from all over the world publicly proclaimed Brady’s unrivaled, unsurpassed, and unparalleled greatness. Here’s just one example of the accolades that were showered on him: “Tom Brady is going to be talked about 100 years from now like baseball talks about Babe Ruth.”

Then there’s the money that has accompanied all that fame. I saw today that Tom’s estimated net worth is over $250 million. Oh, and his wife’s net worth is even more. Her net worth is estimated to be over $400 million.

When it comes right down to it, I guess Tom Brady has come about as close to anyone to having everything that a person could ever want. He has worldwide fame. He’s recognized as the “greatest of all time.” He has more money than a person can ever possibly spend. He’s married to a supermodel who has appeared on more than 1,200 magazine covers. And he’ll still be talked about 100 years from now. I guess you could say that, in a real sense, Tom Brady has come about as close as anyone to “gaining the whole world.”

When most people think about Tom Brady’s life, they can’t imagine anything better. Many are envious. Even more are probably in awe. There are thoughts like, “Lucky guy!” And thoughts like, “How could one man be so lucky?” And thoughts like, “How great would it be to have his life?”

But my thoughts are quite a bit different. I’m not envious of Tom’s life. I’m not in awe. I don’t think, “Lucky guy!” And I have no interest in trading places with him. What I think about it this: Tom will soon die, and then, unless he takes up his cross and starts following Jesus, everything will change . . . for the worse . . . much worse . . . and it’ll be that way for all eternity. Of course, someone may challenge me: “How do you know Tom isn’t a disciple of Jesus?” I’ll admit that only God knows who belongs to Him, but there are a few reasons that suggest he’s not an authentic follower of Jesus: (1) unlike some players, I’ve never heard him talk about God or openly express faith in Christ; (2) he’s known for his profanity on the field; and (3) he was rip-roaring drunk at the victory parade on Wednesday in Tampa.

I guess I can sum it up this way. When I think about people who seem to have it all, but they don’t know Jesus—or they don’t take following Him seriously—I think about what Jesus said: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul” (Mark 8:36-37).

Whatever you do, don’t forget that one day you’ll die and stand before Christ in judgment. Don’t get so focused on the here-and-now that you forget that you’ll live forever in either heaven or hell. Moses sure didn’t forget it. That’s why he chose “to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. . . . for he was looking to the reward” (Heb 11:25-26).
Would it be nice to rich and famous? Sure. Would it be nice to be considered the greatest of all time? Sure. Would it be nice to know that 100 years from now people will still be talking about you? Sure.

But you know what’s better? ETERNAL LIFE!