Packer fans can be demanding.
If you do not care about sports, wait a bit, as the Packers reminded me of a human trait that is terrible when found in leadership. If you have a friend who cannot enjoy winning, that is hard, if the Boss is never happy: may the Lord God have mercy on your soul.
On Winning, But Not By Enough
My team, and as an owner of a Packer share, they are one five millionth my team, the Green Bay Packers are 10-3 with three games to go. Win one and the playoffs almost surely will happen. Win all three and they will get a bye week and host a game (at least) at home (frozen tundra! storied Lambeau Field!) The last few seasons have been losing seasons, haunting me with memories of the 1970’s and 1980’s teams: 8-8 was awesome. As a result, 10-3 seems jolly good fun.
Fandom, at least on my social media feed, seems overrun with disappointed fans. The wins the last two weeks against bad teams have been “unimpressive” and the last good team the Pack played, the 49ers, punched on them like a youngling with an unresponsive touchscreen.
I am still happy. If you had told me at the start of the season, the Pack would be 10-3 and in the mix for the Super Bowl, I would have been ecstatic. With an aging, but Hall of Fame quarterback, the Packers might win a championship, but probably not. They do not seem that good, but at least they are good. Last year they were not good at all. Meanwhile, the first year head coach has won the most games as a new coach in the one hundred year history of the Packers.
This attitude enrages the demanding fans. Why aren’t “we” better? It is as if our good cheer will cause the team to get soft!
The Never Enough Person
Tell somebody they are proud: probably true. Demand more holiness: almost surely needed. Suggest we could work harder, do better, be more dedicated: absolutely. Lives there a soul brave enough to say: “Well, no.”
Jesus was that brave. He prayed like no man, but He also went to parties with sinners. He knew the Scriptures as a boy better than the great teachers, but He told His own parables. Jesus was criticized for not being holy enough and He brushed off the demand, the endless demand for more. Jesus was perfect and people were not satisfied. In fact, His perfection was so inadequate to their demands for more, they crucified Him. As one great-grandfather put it: “They were so straight, they leaned a little.”If you have known such a person, pity is the appropriate response. The Christmas tree is a bit crooked. There is a pile of work to be done. What will we do about the bills? Worry about having kids, worry about the kids, worry about the grandkids: die.
The Pitiable With Power
Combine this pitiable trait with power, however, and the harm spreads. The Boss demands more. Shouldn’t we work on Christmas Eve? We sold x, but couldn’t we have sold x+1? Were we doing our best? Sure. We made our numbers, but this is a new year.
Simple enough to say: what does it profit a Boss to gain a bit more and burn out his crew?
There is a deeper problem, however: the grinding away of all beauty, goodness, and joy mars the image of God in the Never Enough man and in all around him. His fellow workers should help, if they can, or flee if they must, because nothing will ever satisfy such a man. He demands of himself and all around him more than perfection.
All of us are given many roles: child, parent, spouse, worker, churchman, citizen, friend. We could do “better” at each of those roles if we ignored the rest. I could write more and spend more time on all I write if I ignored watching a film with the Fairest Flower.
All of us can only do all we can do, the best we can, given all we have to do. This is obvious except to the Never Enough Person: Why can’t we win all our games? Not talented enough? Get better! Can’t! Drive harder! Can’t? Don’t you want to win? Why aren’t you committed one hundred percent?
The demands continue until all the joy is gone.
Or we can quit: do our duty, do our best, and give the rest to God. We can rejoice in success when we see success and hope for more if there is more. We can keep our hopes from strangling our joys by enjoying all we can.
God help us all.