Are you a football fan?
I had the privilege earlier this week to contribute an essay to Fox News on the surprise retirement announcement from Indianapolis Colt’s franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck.
Here is in part what I wrote:
I suspect attitudes about money and happiness are at the heart of much of the public’s incredulity surrounding Luck’s retirement. While the NFL star has already earned nearly $100 million over the past seven seasons, he potentially stood to receive hundreds of millions more over the course of his remaining career.
It’s hard for the average working American to fathom walking away from that amount of cash. But Luck’s calculus behind the decision to call it quits brings to mind the age-old question: How much is enough?
The 20th-century industrialist John D. Rockefeller was once asked that question by a reporter. Without missing a beat, the business magnate responded, “Just a little bit more.”
Most of us will never be faced with having to choose between our health and well-being and hundreds of millions of dollars. But all of us are required to prioritize the many things in life that alI the money in the world can’t buy.
I commend Andrew Luck for taking into consideration not only his physical health but also his mental and emotional state. It can be tempting to sacrifice some of those intangibles in exchange for more money or even greater fame. In fact, many people do. Workaholism is a modern-day plague, often rooted in the lie that more money will lead to increased joy and happiness.
Over 30 years ago, I was offered a lucrative promotion with my employer at the time, a well-known paper company. The new salary promised to allow my wife and me to live more comfortably than we ever had before. At the very same time, I was invited to join Focus on the Family, a Christian ministry. The salary would be significantly less.
Jean and I prayed about it and determined we were being called to the ministry position. My boss at the time was angry and called me a fool. The three decades since have shown it was the right decision for us. Jean and I just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
The cynic might suggest that Luck’s decision was ultimately inconsequential. After all, he’s a millionaire now and thanks to his lucrative contract and assumed investing, will remain a multi-millionaire in the years to come.
Yet, Luck’s very public decision should nevertheless serve as both a reminder and a warning. Life is very fragile. One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that tomorrow will be an extension of today’s circumstances.
Sometimes it’s not.
Please read the remaining portion of the essay on Fox’s website. But also – please let me know what you think in the comments section below.