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Soaring to the Heights

“It was far greater than I could have imagined.”  Such is the confession of the person that has just experienced a long-anticipated adventure that surpassed their wildest dreams.  You have heard testimonies of sky divers, sea divers, or from people that “fly” with wingsuits. The various experiences that each of them feel either in falling to the earth or swimming to great depths is expressed in terms that ignite the imagination of the hearer.

There are those adventurers that are never fully satisfied at the conclusion of their feat.  No matter the “rush” that others felt, there is a sense of “not what I expected” for a few.  That is not as uncommon as we might think among many high achievers. Quite often, as they share their feelings about finally being “at the top” of their career, their sport, or their skill, there is a sense of disappointment.  They realize that it was the journey was the exhilarating part.  Once they were at the pinnacle of their quest, there was somewhat of a disappointment that it was not “quite” as satisfying as they had hoped it would be in that moment.

Skip Hollandsworth, wrote an article in the December 1998 issue of “Texas Monthly” to tell about his interview with Troy Aikman, who was then the quarterback of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. In the article entitled “The Real Troy Aikman” he said: “Aikman is an elusive hero, difficult to understand, clearly driven by something other than fame. On the night of that first Super Bowl victory, he delayed attending a party with his teammates, instead ordering from room service and sitting alone in his hotel room for a couple of hours. ‘I kept thinking back to the time when I was a teenager — how I thought that all the problems in my life would be solved the moment I turned sixteen and was able to get a car,’ he recalls.

‘Well, here I was at the top of professional football, and I found myself, Troy Aikman, thinking, ‘Now what? Now what?’

‘Why would you feel that way?’ I asked.

For several seconds, Aikman just stared at me. He appeared dumbfounded that I would even ask such an absurd question. ‘Well, isn’t that what it’s all about?’ he asks. ‘To keep raising the bar for yourself?’

It is precisely this attitude that made Aikman such a fierce player, but it is also his curse, and he knows it. ‘I’ve always known that the lows have been lower for me than the highs have been high,’ he confesses. After a loss, he does not answer the phone, even when close friends or family are calling to console him. He lies in bed and replays each offensive play in his mind.”

There are many people, like Troy Aikman, who live with the kind of expectations that make their lows lower than their highs are high. They are driven by expectations of perfection, so that even when they reach the pinnacle, they cannot enjoy it. No matter how good they are, it is never good enough. In spite of great successes, they sit alone rehearsing what they did wrong and how they need to improve. Sometimes the source of some of those unrealistic expectations is from parents. Sometimes they come from the culture around us. Sometimes they come from friends or people at work. As someone has said, “God has a wonderful plan for your life, and so does everybody else.”  Joy is found when one learns to focus on God’s plan and rejoices that He used you in part of His plan.   (Copied).