Yesterday, we had something of a celebrity at the mall signing autographs. Marc Mariani, a small-town guy from Havre, Montana and former Griz wide receiver was recently selected to play in the Pro Bowl for special teams after his rookie season with the Tennessee Titans. Naturally, in a small town that loves its college football team, and has no professional teams to cheer for, this was a big deal. My 7-year-old wanted to go. I drug my feet, and took him at the last minute, not wanting to deal with the crowds. When we arrived, there was already a very long line. Some friends a few rows in front of us informed me that they had already been in line for 2 hours, and were still quite far from getting an autograph. Apparently, people had lined up hours before the autograph signing even began. We had only been there for about 15 minutes when it was time for the NFL player to head out to another commitment. My son started to cry when he realized that he was not going to get anything signed. I'll have to admit that I can get kind of star-struck at times; I certainly was when I first met my husband - I mean, he's on TV! But, with Marc Mariani, it was different. I had gone to school with a lot of former-Griz football players; I saw them on a daily basis. I even worked with Marc's girlfriend for a few years, so I had met him once or twice. I looked down at Tyler and said "Buddy, it's okay - he's just a guy. He's really good at football, but he's just a man." My son wasn't really buying it, so I distracted him with some ice cream, and eventually we survived the day.
Later that night, I was laughing to myself thinking of how we can get so excited over famous people - just to say we saw them or touched them or knew them - as if it enhanced our lives in some way. Like I said, I've been guilty of it. I love telling people the story of how I poured Jeff Fisher, Marc Mariani's coach, a beer one time. I see him on TV & say "I met him once." Neat huh?
This morning we were sitting in church listening to the pastor talking about prayer. I've also been reading a book on prayer called "The Papa Prayer" by Larry Crabb, and I feel like I'm re-learning everything I ever thought I knew on the subject. One thing in particular is being aware of who I'm talking to. If God is who we believe Him to be - the King of the Universe, the Creator of all things, the One who knows our every thought - we have some privilege being able to walk right up to Him. No lines. No security guards. No need to be anyone special. Even more mind-blowing is that he wants to be with us. It's a claim-to-fame that actually makes a difference. Today, I'm reminded that Jesus' death on the cross provided me with something that I take for granted - access to God. Now that's neat huh? :-)