Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Named to 18 all-star teams, he won 5 championships, was the Finals MVP twice, was MVP of the entire league in 2009, and was named a first team all-NBA player a record eleven times. Upon his retirement in 2016, he applied his intellect, work ethic, talents, and fame to other arenas and won an Academy award for his movie “Dear Basketball.”He also produced a number of shows for ESPN+ called Detail analyzing players and their games.
With a net worth of around 300 million dollars, it seemed as if there was nothing he couldn’t accomplish. Having virtually grown up in front of our very eyes playing for the Lakers from age 17 until 37, we saw him learn from some big mistakes early in his career and become a doting family man known for loving his family well. Yet, at age 41, and flying on the 20 million dollar helicopter he owned, Kobe’s life, along with that of his daughter and 7 others, came to an abrupt and tragic end Sunday morning at around 10am.
When the news broke, it seemed as if we all had been hit with a body blow. How could someone so fit, so young, so talented, so well-cared for, and with such seemingly limitless resources meet such an end? Regardless of our age, we were all faced with our own mortality when the news of Kobe’s death broke. I immediately prayed for his family and the families of the other victims and then I began to think.
As I thought, I was reminded that we all will face such a day. Certainly for most of us it won’t be in a fiery helicopter crash, but each and every one of us will one day meet our Maker as Kobe did. Many of us will be given the expected average life-span of an American of 78 years. Some, like my grandmother, will live nearly a quarter century beyond that. But others, like the fourth child of my wife and I, will only be given a couple weeks.
We are all contingent beings which means our organs, our lives, and the entire world are all necessary for each of us to live and all of those things are out of our control. Being contingent means being dependent. And, whether one acknowledges God or not, the reality remains…we are all dependent upon God and His kindness for each and every breath and for each and every helicopter ride. Speaking of man, God’s Word says ‘all flesh is like grass, and all it’s glory like the flower of the grass. The grass withers and the flower fades…’ (1 Pet 1:24).
All of this, then, begs a question…it begs the question. Are you ready? If our lives are like the mist, here today and gone tomorrow (James 4:13-14), how will you fare “tomorrow” when you stand in front of your Maker?
God’s Word tells us that we can confidently know that answer and face “tomorrow” boldly because of what Jesus has done. As sinners who deserve God’s wrath, all of mankind must be reconciled to God and this can only be done through trusting in the person and the work of Jesus Christ. So, I ask you dear reader, have you done so? Are you now trusting in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for your salvation? If you are, then whenever your “tomorrow” comes, you can confidently know that you will be ready.
Like Kobe, we are all contingent beings who live each day only because of a kind and gracious God. But, as we all were painfully reminded of a few days ago, our lives do not last forever. Are you ready for your “tomorrow”?