If you’ve been watching television at all the last few months you’ve probably seen the hilarious DIRECTV ‘Don’t Be Like This Me’ commercials featuring NFL football players Eli Manning, Andrew Luck, Tony Romo, and Randy Moss.
In each commercial there’s a “better” version of the player representing DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket and then a “less to be desired” version of the player representing regular cable. The ads are funny and memorable – especially the one with Andrew Luck and his out of control beard. But DIRECTV’s tagline got me thinking about a significantly more important real life question. Which version of me do I want to be and how do I want to be remembered? Do I want to be remembered as the small guy who couldn’t get the cereal down? I really think there is a “better” way to do life and I got to see it firsthand in three different scenarios this past week.
It all started out last weekend when I traveled back to Indianapolis to officiate the wedding of a dear friend of April and mine named Erica Manzer. Our family has been close with the Manzer family for the past decade so we’ve literally seen Erica grow up from a young middle school girl to the beautiful 23-year-old godly woman she is today. What made this wedding unique though is that her dad, Dave Manzer, was one of my best friends who had moved to Indianapolis to help me launch a basketball training academy. Dave was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met who understood the value of relationships. Dave exuded a love for God and a love for people. Although Dave tragically passed away in 2009 at the age of 48 from a heart malfunction, he made an eternal impact on his family, friends, and those around him. One could not participate in the wedding without feeling the impact Dave had made. He was rich in relationships and lived the “better version!”
I got back into Austin late on Monday night and then traveled the next day with April to Houston, Texas, to attend the funeral for a dear friend of ours named Clint Summers. Clint was another person who made a huge impact into our lives as a small group leader at the church April and I attended after we were married. As we pulled up to the church and saw the hundreds and hundreds of cars in the parking lot it confirmed to us what we already knew – Clint had invested his life where it mattered most and had made a huge difference. This was never more evident than when one of the speakers asked attendees to raise their hands if Clint had made a significant difference in their lives. Seeing almost a thousand hands go up was stunning. Clint lived the “better version” of himself and life. Honestly, his funeral is how I would want my funeral to be: filled with lots of people who authentically knew me, loved me, and shared life with me.
The third example is with my dear friend Manny Coya. I would really like you to take a few minutes and watch this video about Manny’s wife Dana who passed away last October http://bit.ly/1jrL0Js. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better version of real community and a better life lived than this. This is what I think Peter meant in I Peter 4:8 when he wrote, “Above all love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” This is the type of authentic loving community we are striving to become at Renovate Church Austin and the “better version” we can all cultivate. ‘Be Like This Me’ Dave, Clint, and Dana would say. Love you guys!
Dave and April