I've seen many signs in front of church buildings that read, "Come as you are," and often wondered what message they hoped to convey. I know that regardless of "how" I show up to services, God knows whether my heart is focused on Him or caught up in self. I may come impeccably dressed while my heart is in shambles. I wear threadbare clothes while possessing a heart receptive to God's discipline. Our attire, whether stainless or shabby, might be able to create a certain impression on people, but it will not conceal from God the state of our hearts or our minds.
Peter, having just been told in what manner he would die, wondered aloud what would happen to John. We like to know what is going to happen to other people. We wonder why they get the good stuff and we don't (or vice versa). We like to compare. Comparison is not necessarily a bad thing. It has the potential to spur us toward better behavior, healthier choices, and/or much needed discipline. On the other hand, it may very well lead us to ingratitude, envy, jealousy, and depression.
In the race of life, there are moments when we forget why we are running. We focus on how to be better, faster, and stronger. We waste fruitless hours bemoaning the uneven ground, the unexpected rocks, the sand in our shoes, and more. We see something lovely, our breath momentarily suspended, only to trip over our own feet and hit the ground. It's a long, hard race. (Can I get an amen?) In this race, every person, at some moment in time asks the question, 'Why am I here?' or 'Why am I doing this?'. Indeed, why are you here?