17 September 2009

Idolatry Defined

1:35 to 2:55, the close of Jordan's 21-minute acceptance speech into the basketball hall of fame this week.

Thanks, Mike, for the great memories, and thanks for the poignant display of the ugliness that comes from giving in to the tug in all our hearts to build our identity on Self rather than Grace. Had I been in your shoes, there is no doubt in my mind that apart from an intervening work of God I would be even more arrogant and empty than you are. May God grant you to become so miserable in the days ahead, as is clearly happening as the sun sets on your basketball career, that your heart awakens to humble yourself and seek the solid joys of Christ instead of the candy-like and empty pleasures of Self. If one day thirty years from now I'm pastoring a church in your neck of the woods and you attend as a broken-down old man, here is what I will say to you: We are both desperately wicked and equally deserving of God's unending punishment in light of the way we have consistently given him the finger and embraced instead the hollow pleasures of Self. But the God who created you and me and on whom we were meant to run became one of us and suffered to bring us back home to the one who will forgive us if we let him down and satisfy us if we trust him and seek joy in him--neither of which, as you now well know if you will only admit it, basketball can do.

You said many times in your acceptance speech that all that mattered to you was winning. I want you to know that Jesus Christ is the one person who walked this earth who truly deserved to win. And on the cross he allowed himself to lose, so that you and I can be part of the ultimate win. Lay down your self-worship and be free.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Dane, thanks for your simultaneously humble and direct words. You're being a good pastor here, already.