I played sports in high school and achieved some success. I encouraged my children to play sports, and my sons showed a love of baseball and basketball and played them with joy and determination. Both of them were never asked to play college sports, but I believe they both learned grace under pressure from competing in baseball and basketball at various levels.
I love sports. The reason is simple: sports are a simulation of life, but within limited conditions. The things that make for success in sports are echoed in the wider sphere of life itself: courage, hard work, persistence, and the ability to win and lose with grace and dignity.
After bringing a championship back to Cleveland, LeBron James gave credit to his higher power, who he refers to as “the man upstairs”. He said that he had faith, and that he never lost it, and that he gave everything to achieve his goal. He said that his higher power never gives him anything he can’t handle. This is true, and it is a summation of why I love sports. For Lebron, who is extraordinarily gifted as a player, a leader, and an exemplar, his work between the lines of a basketball court are a demonstration of his spiritual journey.
We all need to remember that Mr. James has worked very, very hard for years to be able to accomplish what he did. He no longer is capable of many of the extreme feats he exhibited earlier in his career. However, he is still close to the height of his athletic powers, and has developed his spiritual and emotional powers to aid him in achieving success as a player and a team leader.
Whatever you may think of him, it is hard for us, as Cleveland fans, to do anything but thank him for the tremendous gift he has given us. We no longer labor under any sort of negative sports karma. We, as fans, now stand along with the fans of every other major sports city, having been fans of a championship team that has accomplished unprecedented feats. So I thank him, the management and players of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and my higher power for again demonstrating why I love sports so much, and by extension and reflection, why I love life.
Photo via ESPN.com