It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I am a HUGE fan of the Portland Trailblazers basketball team.  I’m old enough to remember the great teams of the late 80’s and early 90’s, listening to games on the radio late and night, and agony of injuries that have kept some sure-fire championship-level teams from every getting off the ground.

Damian Lillard is the leader and star of this rendition of the Blazers.  He’s an amazing player and, by all accounts, a pretty good human being. Here is what he had to say recently on the topic of players and the pressures they face in the NBA (here’s the article)–

“Pressure, nah. Fam, this is just playing ball. Pressure is the homeless man, who doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from. Pressure is the single mom, who is trying to scuffle and pay her rent. We get paid a lot of money to play a game. Don’t get me wrong — there are challenges. But to call it pressure is almost an insult to regular people.”

First, I like the fact that Damian seems to get it. He get’s paid millions to play a game. if his career ended tomorrow he’d  never have a financial worry for the rest of his life. But his view goes beyond his immediate circumstance.

Second, I like the fact that he seems to still see clearly the “average” person, to one’s paying to watch him play and (even more importantly) those who can’t even dream of ever seeing him play.

But here’s the point at which I’m challenged–I don’t make millions but I still have a tendency to  think of my problems as bigger than they are, and the pressures I face as significantly “weightier” than those of others. Yes, I face some challenges and we have our fair share of struggles–things about which Damian Lillard never needs to worry.  At the same time, there are others who face pressures and struggles that I cannot even imagine.

Lord, help me to always remember those who have less than I and those who face struggles that are not even on my radar most days.  Teach me to not complain about things that would be upgrades for others.  Teach me to be thankful…very, very thankful…and grateful for all that I have.  I am blessed.