Another king falls
Another King Falls: My thoughts on our kings, legends and idols.
One of the greatest childhood memories that I have is sitting in the middle of the street with my two best friends, Jonathan and Rha’Shard, and talking about basketball as one of us dribbled or shot a ball into the air (usually Rha’Shard). These conversations could last for hours… or until the next game of 3 on 3 started. I was never a very skilled baller… but I always loved to debate. My favorite basketball player at the time was Kevin Garnett… Jonathan liked a lot of guys but never had a particular favorite… but Rha’Shard… everyone knew that his favorite was Kobe Bryant. He knew everything he could know about Kobe… his stats… when the Lakers played… even a lot of his moves. Rha’Shard never outtalked anyone… but he would turn his voice and cadence up just a bit to tell us how great Kobe was. Funny thing is, like most basketball fans, although I loved my favorite player… I knew that Kobe was the greatest doing it at the time.
First MJ, Now Kobe...
After MJ retired, there was almost no debating it. Then we met a man by the name of Lebron James and the debates started to get very good. 5 rings? Or the greatest physical being to lace up a pair of high top sneakers ? Even after Lebron won a couple championships, many people still held on to the fact that Kobe would turn the corner and win his 6th championship to cement himself beside his idol, Michael Jordan. One thing most people never wanted to see was the fall of Kobe Bryant. Although we felt short-changed in ’99 when MJ hung up his sneakers for a second retirement… we would have much rather experienced the same with Kobe opposed to seeing him take a “Wizards ending.” Yet, after going 1-14 against the Golden State Warriors… it became clear. Another one of the greats has fallen. Before the “Dear Basketball” letter (which was a masterpiece in retirement announcements) was released… we already knew what time it was.
All Kings Fall...
Sadly, many of us have yet to grasp the fact of that we will continue to experience the ups and downs of emotion for people that we highly regard on this earth, as long as we give our worship to mortals. Every 4 or 8 years for a president, every 15 – 20 years for a great pro athlete (8 – 10 for a decent one), every 30 years or so for our favorite entertainer. If it was born … it will soon wither away. Men who claim to be gods misuse scripture by quoting Psalm 82:6 but don’t include the full verse in which God clearly separates himself from our claims by his immorality. “ I said (God speaking) ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you will die”. That is why we are reminded as believers to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) Retirements and even funerals are a reminder that things on earth expire… but if we place our faith and hope in one who cannot die, then there is always a reason for praise. One beautiful part about what God has done with people is that he gave us a chance to do life on our own. He let us roam without a governmental structure and it didn’t work so we were given the Law (his commands)and judges. We weren’t able to live well with those either so he set up kings for us by our own requests. But as we read through 1/2 Samuel, 1/2 Kings and 1/2 Chronicles we see men who did good and bad… yet all of them died. Even those who did great things faced a time where they failed … and eventually rested with those before them. Yes!... even David, the focal point of much of 1st and 2nd Samuel, the Psalms and many mentions in the New Testament, failed and eventually died.
And after all of that… God stepped down off of his thrown to show us how to do life. Living a perfect life, having a ministry of multiplication, dying for the sins of man and being resurrected to live as the Lord of All. He came back to life to provide it for us… eternally. There is only one whom needed not write a retirement speech or find an eternal resting place. “For God is the King of all the Earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.” (Psalm 47:7 – 8) There will always be great men in this world. Many will do great things. Many will claim that they are gods. Yet even if we doubt that Christ lived and died as ascribed… We have a text that shows us over and over again that men fail on their own and only one gives an opportunity to live eternally in His presence even after we’ve failed Him.