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Flo Finds Contentment

She is the most famous celebrity whose name you don’t know: the actress who plays Flo in all those Progressive commercials. Yes, she is a real person.

As told in the New York Times, Flo (aka Stephanie Courtney) was once a struggling comedian trying to make it big, sending in tapes of her performances to Saturday Night Live. Driving to failed auditions in a car that didn’t go in reverse—and unable to pay to get it fixed. Courtney eventually landed a small role for an insurance ad spot as a cashier.

Fast forward to today and her comedy career is still non-existent, but she makes millions of dollars a year doing what she never wanted to do for a living. Courtney may have more zeros at the end of her pay check, but her story is far from unique. Youthful aspirations so often erode into some version of settling with the hand life (and God?) has dealt you.

NYT reporter Caity Weaver asked, “Who has a better job than you?” Courtney said, “There are times when I ask myself that. The miserable me who didn’t get to audition for ‘S.N.L.’ never would have known, how good life could be when she was denied what she wanted. I hope that’s coming through. I’m screaming it in your face.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Courtney’s story suggests something profound: it is a difficult wisdom to learn, as the Prodigal Son did, that there is something far more meaningful than the glory of what we might want for our lives. The faith that holds on to Christ simultaneously lets go of everything else.

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