I have never been much for video games. I know I am dating myself with this, but when I was in elementary school, we got an atari. One of the old ones that were made to look like they were made out of wood paneling. While I enjoyed a good game of Qbert or Ms. Pacman, I did not play the games like kids do today.
However, I have recently been turned onto a game on my iphone called Angry Birds. I blame a fellow campus minister for my recent addiction. This week, if I've had a free moment, I am trying to get to the next level. The premise of this game is that these annoying green pig-like creatures stole eggs from some birds and now they are angry. Each level features the pigs in some contraption that you have to destroy by flinging the angry birds from a sling shot.
The key though is that these green pig-like creatures mock you the entire time. I think honestly that's what keeps me going. When I fail a level, they mock me with snorts and laughs. I find myself pushing the button to play the level again without even thinking.
In our lives, we all have green pig-like creatures in the form of people who are hoping we will fail. You know who they are. In my life, they come in many different forms. Those that do not completely trust me, those that work to undermine my leadership, those who are waiting for me to fail.
I love to surround myself with helpful, positive people. The ones who are encouraging me, believing that I can achieve anything. The reality is however, that without the "pigs" in my life, I would not achieve as much. The reality is that we all need the "pigs" of life to push us forward. While the reality of having people in your life that are secretly, or not so secretly, hoping you will fail can be daunting and even painful at times, these people keep us from getting complacent. They keep pushing us forward.
Surround yourself with people who love you, support you and believe you can reach for the stars.
When you come across the ones who are not positive, just imagine them as green pig-like creatures and allow their "snorts" and "laughs" to push you forward, achieving new levels of success.