Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To Be Like Him When I grow up

We're sports-junkies in this house. I might have mentioned that before. Specifically, I'm surrounded by people who live and breath basketball. If I was irreverent, I might even say it was our family's religion (except for SK is almost anti-sports). So if you have the slightest interest in basketball, you'll know tonight concluded the NBA's season for the 2014-15 year.

Beve, J and I were hooked on these finals from the start, settled ourselves to watch and root for the Golden State Warriers because they have a player who played his college ball in Beve's and my hometown, stayed to watch because their star was so sweet (yes, sweet) and boyish, and their coach a humble man in his first job as a coach. There were a hundred stories about this team, about this finals, and I got caught up in all of them. That's how sports always draw me in--not with statistics or with large boasts  by arrogant men but by the real- life stories of the players.

Tonight those Golden State Warriors did win the NBA championship. They did spray champagne all over each other in the locker room after kissing the trophy and screaming with joy. The playoff season is a long haul--two months of intense games to get to the final game. And keeping their eyes on that goal every day was grueling. But these aren't ordinary players on this extraordinary team. We were told tonight--by THEM--that they go to chapel together before each game. And the Series MVP said he admires the team's leader (the full season's MVP) so much, "I want to BE him when I grow up! He's such a godly man, so humble, such a great leader."

Think about that a moment.
This huge basketball player, who had just won the series MVP didn't envy the skill, the honors, the professional advantages that skill has given this superstar teammate. He envied his Godliness. He was looking at the RIGHT things. I wish I'd taped that interview. It was the epitome of how we are to look at others and their gifts. "I want to be like Him when I grow up."

Paul tells his followers to "Follow me as I follow Christ" in Philippians 3.  Imitate what is Godly about me. That's it. Isn't that always our goal? Isn't it what we're always about? Sometimes the opportunity in front of us is the one we must take. We spend unreasonable amount of time trying to figure out that will, as though it's as slippery as an eel. It isn't. His loving will is given in love, not in punishment. The Psalmist says (and I'm quoting from the Living Bible here), "I will make the Godly of the land my heroes and invite them into my house." (106:5) THIS is His will. We watched Godly men excel at their God'given talents and it's was a pleasure. The MVP of the series proclaimed on national television, "I want to thank all the chaplains around the NBA...we all go to chapel together before each game." These men are different, and he was explaining why.

That's what a testimony is. To explain the difference.
And give God the glory.
And know that it's His will to do so: to Follow the ones who follow Him. To Give Him the glory when He makes the difference.


M said...

You see, those are things we don't have in Finland: The sports nor God...

Pamela M. Steiner said...

what a powerful story and testimony! Thank you for sharing this with us. I just read it to my family here in the living room. It was a message we were needing to hear in more ways than one. Thank you for being faithful to your call to share good news. (THE good news).
Blessings to you and congratulations to your team!!