My associate Tom and I are in Las Vegas for a keynote speech to a National Association of Catholic Lay Ministers. Why the Association meets in Las Vegas is a very good question. I guess the ministers like to gamble…at least with their choice of keynote speakers.
While I am here, I am working on week three of our current message series all about comparisons. I have loved this series, and would actually consider returning to the topic in the future and treating it at greater length. Comparisons are the evaluations or judgments you make on the world around you, especially the people around you, in view of your self, usually in order to try and feel better about yourself. And comparisons are a trap.
We live in a world where we’re always looking to our left and our right, ahead or behind, trying to figure out, How am I doing? Do I measure up?
And basically, what we want, what we’re all wanting is just a little thing, actually two little things, two little letters, just two little letters attached to us and our stuff…Two little tiny letters that make all the difference in the world: er
We want er to describe us.
As in better, cooler, classier, faster, finer, fitter, fancier, funnier, happier, healthier, handier, hipper, prettier, and richer
All I want, all I ever want is er.
I just want more er than you,
because if I had more er than you,
then I would feel good about me.
I like you and everything, it’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just I’d just like to get up from the table or go home in the evening feeling better about me because I’ve got er on you.
Some of you are like that, but for some of you take it a step further, the comparison game has turned inward. You look in the mirror and you just don’t like you, you hate you. And the reason you don’t like you is because you will never be…whatever, fill in the blank, as them, you’ll never measure up:
- You’ll never be that happy.
- You’ll never look that thin.
- You’re never have that kind of money.
Las Vegas seems to me to be the land of er. One casino is flashier, or fancier, or showier, or glitzier than the last. It is somewhat exhausting as an experience. So it is in our live and our relationships. It’s exhausting.
In the course of this series, my hope is that we at least acknowledge that, quit lying to ourselves about it, and learn disciplines to curb it in our daily living. The best discipline is prayer. Turn your compare into prayer.