If you have been on the internet or turned on the TV in the last 24 hours, you know that retired NBA star, Kobe Bryant, and his daughter died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26th. It seems like the world stopped turning upon the news of the passing of Kobe Bryant.
I hate to admit it, but when I first saw the reaction that the world had to the death of Kobe, I felt a hint of jealousy. I was jealous because, as a Christian, my dream is to see people passionate about Jesus, but I saw millions of people passionate about Kobe Bryant. I was jealous because I was watching millions of people almost worship Kobe Bryant upon his death and the death of Jesus is forgotten daily. I was upset because I saw a priority reversal in a way that I never have before. I was bothered as I watched these people idolize a basketball player. Maybe you had some of these same feelings.
As more and more news flooded in about the death of Kobe, and more and more of his friends and teammates talked about the impact he had, I began to have a change of heart. As each friend and teammate talked about their various experiences with Kobe, one particular word came up in every interview: work. My jealousy turned to respect as I watched player after player talk about Kobe Bryant’s unmatched work ethic. It really hit me when I heard Scottie Pippen say this, “Kobe wanted to be known as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. He wanted to be better than Michael Jordan. He wanted people to realize he was right there and that he would put in the work to let you know that he is one of the greats.”
These interviews opened my eyes to the fact that millions of people got passionate about the death of Kobe Bryant, because Kobe Bryant was passionate about proving himself to millions of people.
There I sat, wishing that people would get passionate about Jesus like they would about Kobe Bryant when I realized that if I want more people to get passionate about the death of Jesus Christ, I have to get more passionate about proving Him to people.
Writing that statement out makes it sound like the most obvious on the planet, and it makes me wonder why it’s such a hard thing to put into practice. I guess for so long I have seen the world as a “lost and dying world” which has “a priority issue,” but I’m starting to wonder if that attitude is just a product of my lack of passion for telling others about Jesus.
I pray that the world’s reaction to the death of Kobe Bryant will not make me say “man, look at the priority issue in the world.” But rather, “man, look at what how hard work and passion can impact the world.”
Turn on the news, search Kobe Bryant on Facebook, look at the impact that the hard work and passion of one man can make. There are an estimated 2,000,000 members of The Church across the globe- Imagine the impact that we can make with the same passion and hard work. Now, you may argue that he had money, fame, and the media on his side. I would agree, and then tell you that we have God on ours.
- Nate Miller