Adults and Children, men and women alike, are taught and encouraged to push their limits. It is explained to them that God only gives us limited time in this world to make an indelible impression on family, friends, and others; therefore we should try to stretch ourselves as much and as best as we can in order to impact the lives of others and to preserve our legacies for future generations.
To be sure, this is important advice. We should never be satisfied with our current predicament or state of being; rather, we should always share a desire to improve and grow in whatever aspect of life that we have chosen. By pushing our limits we will probably achieve a decent amount of success, and some may experience tremendous successes.
I believe that most people attempt to push their limits and some do so successfully. There are various reasons why people push their boundaries, but almost everyone does so in at least one area in their lives.
The bigger question that has been on my mind for some time is: Does there come a point in time where we need to stop pushing our limits? Could it be that, eventually, we can be satisfied with how far we’ve come, and decide that it is good enough?
I am not discussing matters of the spirit; for if there is no growth in our relationship with God, there is a decline and the relationship will deteriorate. Let us instead focus our conversation on physical growth.
When is it time to stop inflicting ourselves with indescribable pain, to call it a career, before it’s too late? Take Brett Favre, for example. The man is 41 years old. He has had an amazing career as the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, and most recently, the Jets and Vikings. He has played in 291 consecutive football games. He is the Cal Ripken of football. But the guy is literally falling apart before our eyes. He can barely walk, his arm is practically falling off when he throws the football, (besides for all the other personal infidelity issues that he is going through) and now he has two fractures on his ankle. And guess what? He hopes to play on Sunday!
It’s not surprising to hear that from Favre. The guy really is tough and wants to help his team win. But seriously, when is enough, enough? How much longer can he continue to push his limits? Better yet, perhaps it’s time for him to stop?
Let’s be honest, Favre is not playing football to show that he can still be effective at his advanced age. He’s not out to prove people wrong. He’s simply addicted to the game. He can’t fathom being home all year long for the rest of his life with nothing to do! Instead he is choosing to torture himself for the sake of his sanity. But Brett, it’s time. Enough is enough. You need to come to terms with moving on. It was torturous enough to watch Michael Jordan come back with the Wizards. Sure, he was able, on occasion, to play at a high level; and there were Michael Jordan flashbacks, but he was never the same Jordan. Brett, your time has come.
As a society, we need to really think about maintaining proper boundaries and keeping proper perspective on life and on our personal goals, before we continue to push ourselves too far.
I feel that its appropriate to adapt a verse from Ecclesiastes to help guide Brett and all the others contemplating whether to continue pushing at a time when they have reached the end of their careers: “There is a time for war and a time for peace”; there is a time to push and push and push until we need to be lifted off the field by teammates, and there is also a time to simply, “shut it down.”
Good luck, Brett.