Just a guy and his thoughts about his cards, his website and life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Race to 1000...The 3 Month & 9 Days Late Revised Edition

It finally happened.  This morning I uploaded my 1000th George Brett card on "The Unofficial George Brett Card Catalog".  The 1000th card that was added was:

2013 Panini Prizm Prizms Red Pulsar #177

A year ago, when I launched this website, I made it a goal to finish with over 1000 cards by the end of 2015.  Well I'm 3 months and 9 days late, but it's finally accomplished.  On the site, I listed a goal to go over 1100 for 2016.  I think I might  revise that to 100 new cards for 2016.  I am on good track for that since I am already 39% of the way there.  

One might say, "wow...1000 cards...how many more does one person need?" In true collector fashion I respond, "At least one more."  1000 cards does seem like a lot.  But when you look at the big picture of George Brett cards, it breaks down to roughly 15% to 20% of all the Brett cards made.  Unfortunately, it is starting to get to the point that the cards not in my collection are costing more.  Luckily every year, at least for the last 4 years, there has been a steady supply on new cards that are fairly low priced to add to the collection, but I have had to raise the amount of money that I am willing to spend per card to continue the collection.  I usually don't spend much more than $3 per card, but the number of cards under $3 is getting smaller and smaller.   I am willing to pay more, if its a particularly good deal and the funds are available.  The later being the most important.  The most I've spent on a single card was my 1975 O-Pee-Chee rookie card, which I spent $32.  The only reason I got it was because it was a great deal and at that time I was also selling cards and had a decent week of sales.

There are cards that I have on my radar to get, but I also know that there are cards that will probably never be featured on the database.  I like to think that I am content with that, but I struggle sometime with being content.  Surprisingly, when I am discontent, I generally make decisions that are emotionally driven, not thoroughly thought through, and when it is all said and done, I'm left unsatisfied.    Why? Because discontentment generally leads to more discontention.

So I ask myself this simple, but very hard question, "Does being a George Brett card collector, automatically make me, at some level, discontent?"  Is there a difference between the want to enlarge ones collection and covetousness.  Covetousness is a word that doesn't get used very much any more.  It means, feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else.  Isn't that what a collector is in a nutshell.  In my scripture study I think I have found a couple of principles that has helped me keep my covetousness under control, but still have a desire to collect.

First, I understand through scripture that I came into the world with nothing and I will leave it the same way.  This is a theme we see through out the Bible.  We see it clearly stated in Job 1 and in 1 Timothy 6:7.  When our life is done on this Earth, will we be able to take anything with us from Earth to wherever our eternal destination may be?  The answer is no.  Because of this I need to cherish what ever the Lord has entrusted me with and know that what I have is temporary.

Second, everything I have, has been entrusted to me by God.  This a hard one.  A couple of years ago President Obama made a statement that in a nut shell said, "You didn't build that" which caused a huge uproar with many privately owned, self made businesses.  But there is a lot of truth in that statement.  Sadly not in the way that our president meant for it though.  The truth is that everything that we have, has been given to us by God for us to oversee.  God is the owner and we are the stewards of those things that he entrusted us with.  For me it is my wife, my children, my family(related by blood and by the Lamb), my employment, and also among other things my card collection.  But we just can't do whatever we please with what he has entrusted us with, we are told that we need to invest wisely in the way the owner would want it invested.  There will be a time that He will ask us to give an account to how we used the things that He entrusted us with and we will be either found faith and profitable(not necessarily monetarily) with what he has entrusted us with or foolish.

Third, material items don't make us covetous, our hearts do.  Material items are amoral, meaning that they are neither moral or immoral.  As the definition stated earlier for covetousness, the main phrase is "a very strong desire".  Desire is an emotion, a wanting something so bad that it starts blocking everything else out and it is your main focus.  The only desire that we should have is a desire to be closer to Christ, which I fall short of  many times.  An often misquoted verse is 1 Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains."  To get material items, generally money is involved, but money is just another material item.  See how this verse progresses.  First there is the love or desire, you want it emotionally and that is where your focus is.  Then there is cravings.  What are cravings?  Usually there emotions that pop up spontaneously and redirect your focus.  Then the desires and cravings make you completely loose sight of what is truly important.  Then in the end leaves us unsatisfied.

So we have to ask this question, "Why are we desiring this item?" and "What is our desire to do with it once God entrusts us with it?"  As followers of Christ, those are two questions that we need to ask ourselves when we start wondering if we are getting too close to the covetous line. That is one of the reasons that I felt God pushing me to write these blogs.  It is fun to put out a top ten list every once and a while, and I don't plan on stopping that.  In fact(spoiler alert), my next top ten will be dealing with this topic.  But I feel God wanting me to use this blog to tell my story of what he has done in my life.

So the question I asked earlier, "Does being a George Brett card collector, automatically make me, at some level, discontent?"  At time yes.  I do recognize that sometimes it does take my focus away, but because I realize that God is the ultimate owner and I am just the oversee, it helps put things back into proper perspective.  As I said in my last post, I am excited to see were God is going to lead me and entrust me with in this next year.  But for now its late and this guy is ready for bed.  Good night!