“Be like David, not like Mike,” writes Voddie Bauchman as he contrasts the recent Basketball Hall of Fame acceptance speeches of David Robinson and Michael Jordan. More:
Modern American sports serve as an incubator for the self-centeredness that resides in each of us. The better one performs, the harder it is to avoid “the big-head.”
I cannot imagine how difficult it would be do handle Michael Jordan’s level of success. What else could he be? Where would he acquire humility, class, and selflessness? Ironically, many argue that these are the very character traits team sports build in young people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nevertheless, these traits were definitely present in David Robinson.
But where did they come from? Did the Spurs do a better job at fostering this character than the Bulls? I doubt it. Did the Naval Academy do a better job at fostering it than the University of North Carolina? Perhaps. However, I believe the key is in the speech. The “seed of faith” planted by his mom and dad; the ‘preaching’ by teammates like Avery Johnson, and the Christ to whom Robinson referred in his closing remarks all came together to shape the man who made that speech.
David Robinson is far from perfect. I’m sure he has as many flaws, foibles and faults as the rest of us. However, for seven minutes, he represented his team, his family, and his Lord very well. And he showed us all how attractive humility and grace can be.
Pray for David as he strives to walk with God. Also, pray for M.J. as he seeks to fill a massive void in the center of his life that basketball, money, fame, championships, and women can never satisfy. Pray that Christ saves him and turns his gaze to something loftier than his own highlights. Not because Jesus needs Jordan’s voice, but because M.J. needs Jesus (just like the rest of us).
Read the whole thing here.