I can hear my husband in the background of the highlight reel, chuckling as he cheers on our little sportsman. In the middle of the adult-sized field, our boy lifts his hands up, just sure he’s going to catch the football. It swooshes over his head and bounces behind him. He isn’t phased. He does an about-face, rushes to fetch it and brings it to the end zone. I grin at his gusto…and his innocence. He tests his own actions, taking pride in his little accomplishments. He doesn’t think to compare himself to anybody else. He makes Galatians 6:4 look easy.
I fumed about Alec Baldwin all weekend, after he gave Indianapolis a little pat on the head, telling the 12th largest city in the nation that we’re really just a small town and he’s sure we got a little more than we bargained for with all of these famous folks flying in. And maybe according to his standards, we don’t measure up to the likes of the coastal cities and all their glitz. We are not celebrity central. We don’t have the largest population. We don’t have the most imposing skyline. They’ve got a whole lot of zip. We’ve just got a zip line.
Steven Furtick, a pastor from North Carolina, said it right, “One reason we struggle w/ insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” Truth is, beyond all the cameras, wardrobe and private planes, Alec and his friends are skin that stretches, bones that break, muscles that weaken, lungs that pierce, bowels that release. If we rank ourselves according to the highlight reel and get starry eyed at the bling, we start to obsess over what they’ve got that we don’t…and risk wasting what we do have.
Here, you can smile at a stranger without getting mugged. You can make friends with someone at a coffee shop and not worry about them using you to get their foot in the door of show biz. Here, you’ve got family-friendly on navigable streets in a clean, undaunting downtown.
On that foundation, Indianapolis built Super Bowl Village: walkable boulevards flanked with stages for free concerts, citified bonfires teaming up with continuous light shows and nightly fireworks for ambience, our seven-story-tall zip line zooming brave ones over Capitol Avenue, an army of Indy race cars emblazoned with the logos of each NFL team, and football galore in the convention center.
I love what life coach Holley Gerth said a couple of weeks ago, that God picks the perfect things for our individual to-do lists. We can’t expect to be equipped for tackling someone else’s list. All we are asked to do is say, “What I have I give you.”
Elliot considered nothing but the task before him when he scaled hurdles, high-fived weeble wobble punching bags, sprinted on the bungee run, and tried his foot at punting the ball. He didn’t have it all. But he gave what he had. And so did Indianapolis– so much so that future host cities are looking our way, already combing through the creative thinking and logistical prowess of this so-called small town’s take on the big event. I guess our highlight reel didn’t turn out so bad.