The news hit us all so hard. My basketball team had just won a big road game and when the coaches went to the locker room to celebrate it was weirdly somber. After we huddled, someone broke the news to me and I literally had to sit down. I really could not believe it. It is still hard to believe.
The next day, my wife asked, “Why does this feel so different? Why is this harder than other celebrities?” We are in our thirties, so we grew up with Kobe. And even though my wife is not a huge sports fan, we were both sobbing on the couch as we watched the news coverage that morning.
I am an MJ guy. MJ all day, every day. Kobe fans caused me to pull away from Kobe, however, Lebron fans helped pushed me towards Kobe. I respected his game and as he opened up more, I could not help but respect his drive; his mentality; Mamba Mentality.
As I have reflected the last few days, I connect the Mamba Mentality to one thing. Not grit. Not hunger. Not being the ultimate competitor. When I think of Mamba Mentality, I think of time. Yes, time.
Kobe talked about waking up early in the morning and working out before any of his competitors were doing so. Then, he would go back later in the day and work out again. He said by consistently doing this, his contemporaries would never be able to catch him, no matter how hard they worked. Why? Because he made the most of his time.
Time is the reason he began using a helicopter as a normal means of transportation. He missed a school play because of traffic and vowed that it would not happen again. So, to make the most of his time, so that he could spend as much time with his family as possible, he began to use a helicopter to get him from point A to point B.
As it concerns time, the scriptures tell us that we do not have a lot of time here on this earth. James 4:14 describes our life as a mist, or a vapor, that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Job 14:1 says that we are of few days and those days are full of trouble. GOD is clear that we do not have a lot of time here and the reality is that most of us probably have less time here than we actually believe.
Every moment we live is a moment closer to death. So, what are we doing with our time? Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us to be careful to live as the wise by making the best use of our time. So, again I ask, what are we doing with our time? Are we doing what GOD has called us to do? Are we making the most of our time? Should we be writing books instead of binging our favorite show?
Should I pull away from work for just 20 minutes to pick my daughter up from school just because it would make her day? What if I am never able to pick her up again?
I do not know when death is coming, but I am certain that it is coming. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes the judgment. How will GOD judge your time? How will HE judge mine?
Thank you Kobe, for the highlights and delightful debates of who was better between you and MJ. Most importantly, thank you for the Mamba Mentality, and the reminder that time is a gift to be appreciated and used wisely, not to be wasted.
Rest in peace, Kobe, and all who lost their lives in that terrible accident.
Grace and peace.3