Do you recall this famous scene from Jurassic Park, the original movie? The tour groups are at the new theme park, parked right outside the T-rex exhibit, when the power goes out in a massive storm which stalls the car. Suddenly the largest and most monstrous dinosaur went on the loose. Meanwhile, the weasel lawyer abandoned his vehicle that had two kids in it, making the young girl say in fear, “He left us! He left us!”
On July 4, 2016, legions of Thunder fans could be heard with that same sort of panic, when superstar Kevin Durant announced he was leaving the OKC Thunder for the greener pastures of the Golden State Warriors, our bitter Conference rival.
Following the sad KD news, and through some shock and grief of my own, I thought of some life lessons that helped me, and I hope help other Thunder fans:
- Be thankful for what you have, not knowing how long it will last. In the wake of KD’s departure, I heard one of my best friends say, “Don’t be mad at what was lost, be glad we ever had it.” This is true in sports and in life.
- Sports can bring happiness and heartache. Even the best teams don’t win every game. At some point in sports, you will be thrilled and let down. While we enjoy spectator sports, we need to understand that you cannot have the ups without the downs.
- I’m sad but will get over it and still cheer on our team. Like all Thunder fans, we wanted KD to stay. But sports are about the team, not the individual. While we wish he had not left, and certainly not for our arch rival, let’s keep our chin up and, to quote Thunder GM Sam Presti, “Carry on.”
- People will eventually disappoint you; only God is completely reliable. Kevin Durant is not perfect. You’re not perfect, and neither am I. If we are counting too much on others for our happiness, we will eventually be let down. Trust in God, for He is our rock and redeemer (Psalm 46:1).
- Enjoy sports but don’t put your hope and happiness in them. Put your hope and happiness in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hundreds of years from now, few to any will remember what basketball team won the championship in 2017. In the grand scheme of eternity, it will not amount to a hill of beans who was on what basketball team. Let’s not get too caught up in this moment to where we lose sight of the eternal things, namely Jesus Christ, who is the “same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8) and who offers us eternal hope and happiness.