What a weird week it’s been.
Between Manti Te’o and Lance Armstrong, we have witnessed the flaws of pursuing the American dream.
When Armstrong was characterized as being adequately rich and powerful to pulverize his critics into submission — that was a scary thought.
What are the messages for our children?
Early on the harshest thing I heard said about Armstrong was that he was the Bernie Madoff of cycling. I thought “Wow that’s pretty bad.”
Now that he has not only admitted to a chain of lies and playing everyone around him for a fool, it doesn’t seem so harsh.
Then someone sent me a fake T-shirt bearing the inscription, “Play like you had a fake girlfriend die today.”
I also was introduced to the term idea of getting “Catfished.” That’s the Internet term for what happened to Te’o, who initially claimed he was tricked into thinking the girl of his dreams was real.
If we call what happened to him getting Catfished, it seems to cheapen the greater drama surrounding the whole story. Maybe everyone paying attention got Catfished.
You might have to think about the common denominator that motivates people to resort to such extreme lies. It seems to me that money is what comes up more than most anything.
A dear friend reminded me recently that money is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. I think he gets it.
A lot of people are confused about what the Bible says about money.
The correct quote is: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
The preceding verse may be a more powerful commentary on the events of the last week. Verse 9 says: “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
Each of these verses is from the good old King James edition, but I don’t even think we need a modern or amplified version to help us understand the message here. This wisdom is essentially irrefutable, you could even say it is self-evident.
Our founders began the Declaration of Independence with the phrase, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal …”
I’ve wondered recently what our founders would see as self-evident in our society today. Were they utterly committed to statements being so true they did not require further proof? The website civiced.com suggests the framers saw things in such a way that,
The “truths” are held to be unquestionable and beyond debate, since their truth is said to be obvious. They can be stated without elaborating or defending them. These ideas were very familiar to Jefferson and the other authors and editors of the Declaration. They also were very familiar to most Americans of the time.
Too much of our society has abandoned the things that are best about us, those things which are self-evident. We can see what is good without trying very hard. The hard part is separating the liars from the folks who are doing things legitimately.
Play like you practiced enough to do this in your sleep,
Like you’re playing for free,
Like you’re drug free,
Like you’re momma would whoop you if you didn’t try your hardest,
Like your dad’s gonna hug you when you walk off the field with tears of joy in his eyes,
Like you want to be remembered by your kids and grandkids,
Like your talent is self-evident
Like winning will fulfill others more than it will fulfill you.
I’d buy and wear that T-shirt.