I occasionally check the USA Today’s sport’s page for amusement. Today I was struck by two contrasting stories regarding NFL players. The first is on Vince Young, the third player taken in the draft six years ago. He made millions of dollars as a pro-bowl quarterback with the Tennessee Titans but was cut by the Buffalo Bills last month. He is now out of job and seems to have squandered his wealth in either out-of-control spending or bad business partnerships. His story is not so unique among sport’s stars, though the speed of his decline is remarkable.
Even in pro sports, where tales of squandered wealth abound, Young’s plight is “pretty dramatic,” said Kenneth Shropshire, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business who has written and lectured extensively on the business of sports. “You’d think it would be hard to blow that much money,” Shropshire said.
Contrast Young with a story about NFL rookie running back, Alfred Morris. The article focused on his surprising success with the Washington Redskins and the fact that he still drives a 1991 Mazda, worth less than $1300.
“It has some sentimental value to it now,” Morris told The Redskins Blog. “It just keeps me grounded, where I came from and all the hard work for me to get to this point. So that’s what helps me.”
As I read the two articles, I was reminded of Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:19-21)
Lord Jesus, keep me grounded in you, so I can store my treasure in heaven.