The country waited with great anticipation, as cities such as New York, Chicago, Miami, and most of all Cleveland, stilled their emotions in hope that the great LeBron James would come to their town to play for their basketball teams. There has never been a time, when one person’s decision, would raise the hopes of so many and yet have the opposite effect of letting down so many at the same time. This young basketball icon, (by the way, who never said he was the savior of Cleveland), has never had to deal with the likes of this kind of pressure. Playing in the NBA Finals did not carry half the weight as the decision he had to make about his future basketball prospects. As fans from Cleveland and his hometown of Akron pleaded, prayed and begged that he would remain in Cleveland and become the legitimate hometown hero, who would help their dying city resuscitate from an economic meltdown and revive the hearts of the young and old by winning a championship.
Put yourself in Lebron James’ shoes and ask yourself, “How would I handle this decision making process?” What factors would you consider to help you make a well-thought out and balanced decision to remain in Cleveland or to leave it? It is easy for all of us to sit back and have none of the weight that this young basketball player has on him, where people have dubbed him the King who revived Cleveland. He is a basketball player for heaven’s sake, not Jesus Christ.
Lebron is surrounded by hands that are all asking for something from him and yet has nothing or very little to offer him in return, but perhaps cheers when he does something for their team to win. Everyone surrounding this young man has one major motive and it is most likely not Lebron James, but rather his or her own self-serving interest. I am sure that his mother may make the ultimate sacrifice for her son by giving her life; but the so-called fans that are cheering for him during a game will not consider giving him their only kidney if he needed one to survive just to continue playing basketball.
One day a chicken and a pig had spent days together, but neither had anything to eat. They were both famished and brainstorming what they could do to find food. After hours of deliberation, the chicken said, “I know what we can do; I’ll lay a couple of eggs but you must provide the bacon.” The pig said, “That’s easy for you to say because all you have to do to provide a couple of eggs is lay them, but for me to provide the bacon, it takes a total commitment.”
In truth, Lebron James is a young man who is expected to think and act like a responsible, well-seasoned, well-mannered person, but inside of him is a young man who is in need of fatherly examples that would foster maturity behind closed doors as well as in public. He has probably lived his entire life always being depended on. However, he needed someone else to lean on. I believe the decision he made to play in Miami was a very difficult decision to make because he does care for the city of Cleveland and I believe he does care about their economy, but he is not their savior. Cleveland is a city with many millionaires, white-collar professionals, large, medium and small businesses; as well as communities and suburbs where people will do what they have to do to survive. Moreover, Cleveland was there when Lebron James was born and it will most likely be there when he dies.
One man can make a difference, but only ONE MAN (Jesus) can save a world. Jesus Christ was thirty when He started his ministry and thirty-three when He was crucified. However, Jesus knew why He was in the world; Lebron James does not have a clue why he is on earth.
As I watched Lebron James interview on ESPN, as he courageously held his composure in place, with hesitancy in his voice, he verbalized his decision to play for the Miami Heat Basketball Organization, while unaware of what to expect. Finally, it is out! He paused before exhaling and then gave a subtle sigh of release and continued his interview. His response to those burning his number 23 Jersey and sad and disappointed expressions, exonerated his mixed emotions to a degree. The Cleveland owner and fans who cheered when he was in Cleveland are now ready to crucify him. This is demonstrative of people whose true immature reaction to a young man’s decision about his own future has cared nothing about him as a person. How sad it must be to be known only for what you do, but few really know who you are.
If I were asked by Lebron as to how to handle such an ordeal, I would tell him that basketball is a game and a business, but your future is your life. The decision you make today will affect more than just you. However, the decision you make tomorrow will affect more than just you. A person’s maturity is indicated by how he or she weighs what is of little importance or great importance. When you can unequivocally differentiate between the two, and make a sound decision without outside influences and live with your choice, you have arrived. People are important, but so are you. However, decisions will always affect others. Just make sure your decision is the one you sought God’s counsel.