If you were in a hole this past week, you might have missed the news that the Golden State Warriors won the National Basketball Association Championship for the 2016/17 season. That on its own might or might not interest you. However, the way this team has changed the game is of interest to me.
The Golden State Warriors team is built on the idea that they are better together. They have changed the way the modern game is played by, simply, being willing to share the ball, the accolades, and even the money.
Lest you think that this mindset is common, ask yourself how common it is for people to share the credit when good things happen—or even take less money for the good of the whole organization.
Having been personally captured by this team’s approach, I have watched several interviews of the players and it seems that the attitude is universal among them. They even seem to be friends. One young player spoke of his teammates as being like a family.
I had the blessing of one of my best friends being in town for a couple of days this week. We have known one another for more than thirty years. When we walked into our regular Chinese restaurant for lunch one day, it felt like it has always felt between us—so much so that we seamlessly picked up a conversation that has run through these past three decades.
My friend is better than I am at some things. At one time, my human nature was uncomfortable with that. But today, our decades long connection allows me to celebrate his skills—and I wonder if we could stand together as a team someday like the Golden State Warriors.
As with most other things, these thoughts take me to my relationship with God. I marvel at Jesus’ demonstration of self-sacrifice, humbling Himself to become human. Then enduring the cross! Not because we had a great relationship, but simply to give our relationship a fighting chance—to ask us to join His team for the benefit of the whole human race. As the best team member we could have, He bore the full cost of our sin—but is willing to share all the benefits with His human family.
My friendship with Jesus is now nearly forty years old. I have learned just how wonderful it is that He is better than me. I want to be better at being His friend and teammate.
One day I intend to sit down with Jesus in heaven and pick up a conversation that is decades old, as if it has never stopped. Maybe I need to set aside more time to talk to Him.