Categories: Pastors Blog
Flashing across the Russian skies on February 15, 2013, then exploding with the power of 30 Hiroshima A-bombs (500 kilotons), 15 miles above the city of Chelyabinsk, a 10,000 ton meteoroid of iron and steel, named Chebarkal (A great name for a giant rock, don’t you think?), 50 feet in diameter and travelling faster than the speed of sound tore off the roof of a brick factory and injured 1,200 people. The experts say it was a one in 50 year event (BBC news). That means that most of us will never see or hear of another event like that one. We usually make a big fuss about things occurring with this kind of rarity, like the 50th anniversary of a marriage. There was a rather monumental celebration of a certain basketball player who celebrated his 50th birthday last month. Michael Jordan, with his NCAA national championship, 6 NBA championship rings, 1 professional baseball career, and three retirements turned 50 years old.
As ESPN cued up the 50 greatest plays of his career and as the debates raged about who was better; Michael, Kobe, or LeBron, one article caught my attention. It is written by Wright Thompson and entitled, Michael Jordan Has Not Left the Building (http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/page/Michael-Jordan/michael-jordan-not-left-building). It paints the picture of an aging icon who is still trying to figure out life away from basketball. Jordan admits, “I would give up everything to go back and play the game of basketball.” Remember we are talking about someone who has a lot to give up: he is still the central figure of the pre-eminent athletic shoe company in the world, he owns his own basketball team, he has a mansion, and his own airplane. He would give it all away to play competitive basketball one more time, to juke LeBron or dunk over Kobe. Problem is he can’t and never will. Life goes on and in another 50 years or so, he will give up everything for good and stand before his creator and give an account of himself and his relationship to Jesus Christ. Michael is like that meteor, he flashed across the horizon of our culture and caught our attention, but then he will be gone, and unlike that meteor which will go the way of all things natural, the eternal seed in Michael Jordan’s soul will take root in its eternal home. To those in his immediate circle Jordan is everything. The security team that stays with him at all times has a code word for him, Yahweh (which is the name God gave himself in the Old Testament). It reflects his position in their world; he is at the top of their food chain. Only problem, it is not Michael Jordan’s name; it belongs to the One who is sufficient, sovereign and able to save. He alone is unique and holy, entirely incomparable to a once in a lifetime meteoroid or a once in a lifetime basketball hero named Michael.
When I was a younger man there was a popular slogan surrounding Jordan, “I want to be like Mike.” Today, I DO NOT WANT to be like Mike. I was not saved to long for past glory or to try and fill the void of past accomplishments with fleeting possessions or power. I want to live a once in a lifetime life, but I want to do it with my eyes fixed on the greater glory stored up for me in heaven and imperishable in Christ.
(Here is another great article to read concerning Michael Jordan, http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/02/21/when-greatness-meets-emptiness-michael-jordan-at-50/)
Let’s Live Well,