Sunday, April 17, 2016

Kobe, Basketball and Other Legends

“If you love the boring,  agonizing process 
then you know you found something true to you” 
-Kobe Bryant-

April 13th, 2016. What a historical day for basketball! The Golden State Warriors broke Chicago Bulls’ record on getting the most wins in a season (73-9). Stephen Curry, perhaps the best player in the league right now, broke the record of scoring his 400s three-point in a single season. And the biggest one of all, is Kobe Bryant playing his very last game with the Lakers, scoring 60 points and a victory over the Utah Jazz (101 -86). 

Man, KOBE. I have no words. I legitimately cried watching him take his last walk into and out from the court for the last time. The speeches and tributes done by other people for him and his final words before leaving the court got me tearing up. I don’t think he could’ve ended his career any better. I think it was a perfect way to exit the game that he has grown to love so much for good. What can I say? I love basketball, I really do.

The first time I was introduced to basketball was when I was in elementary school. I learned that there was a ball that was made to bounce. That you were meant to run and allow it to bounce with you within your hands, as you draw yourself closer to the ring and take a jump to aim for a point. It was the best game ever since. I can’t quite describe it and I was never really that good at it either. But there’s always this adrenaline rush of fitting into the rhythm of the game and just feeling it. Dribbling the ball and shooting it, especially when the ball splashes into the ring. Oh, the sound it makes! It’s one of the greatest satisfactions in life, I tell you. 

So yeah, Kobe retiring got me feeling sad and a bit emotional. But deeper than that, was a feeling of great admiration and inspiration upon this amazing basketball player. I was praying a lot about dreams during this week and watching someone like Kobe Bryant pouring all that he has for something he is passionate about was overwhelming, in the best way I could describe. 

Shouldn’t we all be doing what Kobe did? Shouldn’t we all be pouring our lives for something greater than ourselves? This is what makes him a legend. He understood what it takes for someone to become one. Which is to push through, stay within the process and not give up. Break one standard after another, creating new barriers to break. Legends weren’t made to dream small and remain stagnant in their life accomplishments. Legends also weren’t made to dream big by becoming a couch potato. But legends were made by constant, continuous, relentless, passionate hard work. 

Legends, they are serious about what they want to pursue. They don’t let this burning desire to be the best die before they actually become one. I was so moved by the heart that Kobe showed for basketball, I came to a point that I was almost embarrassed because I was asking myself: Have I shown enough heart for Jesus, who has not only gave His heart for me, but His entire life for the sake of my eternal well-being? 

Basketball didn’t give anyone anything. I love the game simply because it’s the best game ever (bias, much?). I bet Kobe Bryant loves the game simply because he loves it. I don’t think he can quite describe it in ways that will fully comprehend the love he has for basketball. If we, as flawed human beings, can show such deep passion for something, that is merely made of a ball and two poles with rings and baskets, how much more capable we should be to love something that has given up so much for us. How much more capable we should be to show our love for Jesus.

Legends in God’s Kingdom go all out. Legends like Paul, Peter, David, Moses, Joshua, Esther, Abraham, John, the list goes on. They didn’t hold back. They stayed in the process and remained steadfast for God. What allowed them to do this was their love for Christ. They were passionate about Jesus and the cause of His Kingdom. This is why they ended up being world changers. I don’t know about you, but I want to be legendary. I want to be a legend in God’s Kingdom. 

“So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded. 
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, 
you will receive what He has promised.” 
Hebrews 10: 35-36

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