When Martina Navratilova was given the opportunity to offer her thoughts on the passing of Kobe Bryant, she said, “Few athletes transcend their sport. Fewer athletes, yet, transcend sport itself. Kobe was one of them.”
If there was anybody who made it to near deity status among athletes — among personalities, it was Kobe Bryant. He wasn’t just heroic — heroes come and go. Kobe’s crazy talent, records, championship rings and banners, MVPs, intensity, confidence, will to win, smile and effervescent personality elevated him to a place somewhere in the stratosphere — a place from which he never came down — much like his flights over stupefied defenders. At just 41, with another whole half of his life to live, and in the prime of his health, he was creating legacy by overseeing his MAMBA foundation that promotes athletic excellence from LA to San Diego, being a good husband and dad, writing children’s books, investing in tech companies and coaching a girls basketball team. For all of his hard work and accomplishment, Kobe amassed not only love, respect and awe from people around the world (news of his death was reported on front pages across the globe), he also amassed a fortune somewhere in the neighborhood of $600,000,000. If anyone was enjoying security, it was him.
And yet, he was as vulnerable as you or I.
Each one of us look at the week ahead and make plans fully expecting to see them through, placing all our bets that we will be here tomorrow and the next day. But if there is anything that can be taken from the loss of Kobe, it is that life offers no one the surety of tomorrow.
Of course, everyone knows they can die the next time they drive through an intersection, but do any of us really live that way? I am not suggesting that you should always be looking over your shoulder. But I am asking, how many of you carry grudges and aren’t talking to people that you really love? How many of you are putting in needless hours after work when you could be at home with your family? And, how many of you have yet to come to grips with the fact that if you were to die today, and you have not given your heart to Jesus, that the eternal life that he died to give you will elude you?
If you have not made Jesus your Lord and Savior, I’d like to remind you that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is our only hope for security. The Scriptures makes it clear that all of life will pass away, but only God and his Word will remain. Jesus is the rock that will always, always, always be there — and that you can build your life on it. To receive a life of security in Christ, it is very simple to do — as simple as ABC. A, admit that you’re a sinner. B, believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and rose from the dead, and C, confess Him as your Savior and surrender your life to him.
I pray that Kobe’s one last great contribution to this world will be to inspire us all to look for a remedy to the pain we feel today in the one true rock, Jesus. He stands waiting with His arms wide open to receive you today — and give you the security that your heart seeks.