A Pastor’s Perspective, There Will Always Be Someone Better


By: Mike Upchruch

There Will Always Be Someone Better

No matter what we accomplish in life, there’s always the very real possibility someone will come along and accomplish more. There will always be someone stronger, smarter, quicker, prettier, smoother, etc.
It’s just a fact of life.

In baseball, the adage is true that “records are made to be broken.” In 1961, New York Yankees Right Fielder Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in a single season and his Major League Baseball record stood for 37 years! But I was watching live on September 8, 1998 as St. Louis Cardinals 1st Baseman Mark McGwire hit a line drive barely clearing the left field wall for his 62nd home run of the season to break Maris’ record. Then amazingly, just five days later, Chicago Cub’s Sammy Sosa swung on a fastball and tied that allusive number of 62. Two different batters broke a 37 year old record in less than a week! McGwire would end up finishing the season with 70, a record that stood till 2001 when Barry Bonds hit 73, which still stands today. Granted, all three players have been accused of using steroids to set those records, but only Sosa still denies using enhancements. But again, no matter what the Sport or the accomplishment, there will always be someone who will come along and better a mark that has been set.

So, if there is always going to be someone better than us, shouldn’t we just strive to be average? Shouldn’t we give up on ever trying to be the best at anything? Shouldn’t we relegate ourselves to just blending in at anything we try? Absolutely not!

We bring glory to the Father and to the Son when we excel at something. When we accomplish things few others can, we rise above our peers, if just for a season of time anyway. But the purpose of this column is not to challenge you to be the best at something, but rather to be the best YOU that you can be at anything you try to do. To be the best YOU means to accomplish all that you were designed to accomplish. It doesn’t matter what that something is, the question remains, “are you at the top of being you?” Are you the best you can be at all you do? Or are you sometimes admitting “I could have done better”? Remember this truth though, that you are not serving yourselves here on earth; you have an obligation to the One who has gifted you in this life…..

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father…..
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:17, 23-24

To be the very best at something may be only a dream for many of us. To set records that remain, or to be mentioned as having been the best at what we do, is not even on many of our radar screens. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to be the best you can at whatever you are striving to do. To hear the Lord say “Well done” should be a personal goal ALL of us are aiming for! The Lord may not reward you for the being the very best at something (after all He created you with whatever ability you have, so perhaps He should get those rewards awarded you), but I can promise you He will reward you for striving to be the best YOU that you could be! We mustn’t ever lose sight of the fact we are in a challenge during this life. That challenge is to be the best ‘us’ we can be. To take all the tools and gifts and talents that God granted us, and use them in the best ways we can! We must enter Eternity knowing we did our best. We may not have been the best, but we should have been OUR best!

In 1985, I had the distinction of winning the most drag races in a season in the Sportsman class at US78 Dragway, giving me the Track Championship. By entering multiple classes, gamblers races and racing in two day events, out of 46 races I won 13 of them and runner-upped in 7, which was 20 final rounds or 43%. Not too shabby, but I could have done better. I would kick myself all the way home for doing something stupid if I had lost that night. I was far harder on myself than others would be. Simply because I knew many times I didn’t get beat, I beat myself. I wasn’t driving at my best level!

At the end of a drag race, no matter what class a racer might be racing in, there can only be one winner. Sometimes racers will get on a roll and win a few races in a row. They are ‘hot’, and to quote the late country singer Jerry Reed, “When you’re hot, you’re hot”! Then, just a few weeks later, they can’t win anything but first round runner up! “They couldn’t buy a race” as we often say. They struggle with developing any rhythm at all, and some just stop racing altogether. They threaten to sell their racing operation and take up fishing! But the problem isn’t that they don’t know how to win; the problem is that they have somehow lost the ability to be THEIR best. That is key! You must be able at the end of the day to tell yourself you did your best. Then losing won’t hurt as much!

When you pillow your head at night, being able to console yourself with the knowledge that you wouldn’t change anything you did can bring you satisfaction. And it brings glory to the Lord as well! When people see you losing at something with dignity because you did your best, it might cause them to wish they could be more like you. When you’re at peace with yourself because you were the best “you” that you could have been, it will always cause people to take stock of you. And they just may realize it’s your relationship with your Lord that sets you apart!

Be the best ‘you’ that you can be, and you’ll make this verse come alive….

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:16

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike