So keeping with the yearly trend, I am back to reflect on what year 24 may look like for me.
I watched an interview with young Kobe Bryant and Stephen A. Smith and I must say I developed an appreciation and respect for the guy that I never really had before. It is interesting when they say we should give people their flowers while they are still living. It was quite inspiring and interesting to see his thought process and him sharing his journey of becoming the ‘Black Mamba’ that we know, love and celebrate today.
I also watched a talk by Francis Chan to single Christians, where he spoke about being one minded and kingdom minded. Chan referenced the relationship dynamic between Kobe and Shaq and stated that while the two guys were busy having an ego trip and feeling some type of way to each other, the people of LA were busy worrying about the power of their partnerships and the potential championships that dynamic could bring to the city of LA. The Lakers were already a well known and well established dynasty thanks to the likes of Jerry West (alleged NBA logo model) , Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabar and the showtime Lakers. Yet, the possibility was endless and the team could see beyond to greater exploits to be achieved. And that made me think that is how life is at times, we are so busy fighting seemingly superficial battles that distract us from the what we should actually be focused on. The enemy can be quite cunning in distracting us with conflicts both externally and internally such that we are prevented from building and working to achieve greatness. Yet, in the interview with Kobe you see his revelation that truly there is nothing God cannot see a human being through.
In light of the current social climate and how so many issues have been brought to the forefront in terms of police brutality and equality for black people in the Western world and abuse of power, the rape culture and victimization of females in Nigeria, now more than ever I am reminded that Earth is not my home yet one cannot remain silent on issues that affect the quality of life that myself and my fellow human beings can live.
It can be very easy to shy away from these topics and feel overwhelmed but the reality is that while earth is not my home, I am a sojourner here for a while and just like when I go and visit anywhere I want to leave that place in a good condition and contribute to the beautification and upkeep of the living area, as much as I possibly can. This is why I think moving forward these are issues that have always been prevalent in society it just seems there is a time such as this for things to really change and for people to really effect changes systemically in the form of policies implemented and even just public awareness. However, I also find myself getting swept up in the emotions and the angst and frustration of the situation and I have to remind myself to keep focused and to retain that kingdom mindset.
Not wanting to sound like a broken record but honestly one of the things that has encouraged me and kept me sane through this whole craziness of 2020 has been trying to maintain the kingdom mindset. There has been far too many deaths of people that are tagged as great and successful in their own rights such as Kobe Bryant, Ravi Zacharias, Ibidunni Ighadalo and so many more, as well as regular every day people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and even those that have died from the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens;
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 (NIV)
None of these people knew that death would meet them in 2020 but one thing we have as an advantage especially as christians is the understanding that all the things we see on this earth are vanity upon vanity. The salvation of our soul is pertinent now more than ever before.
“I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.”
Ecclesiastes 3:14 (NIV)
Yes, we work on building our character because that is what remains with us in eternity. I do not want to spend my eternity with an individual with a racist or a sexist mindset. Or with an individual who believes in the abuse of power and actively exercises their power and authority over those that are less powerful than them in a frivolous manner.
Being kingdom minded doesn’t mean I ignore the current state of the world but as I am blessed to be a year older, I am challenged to continue to be the change I want to see in the world but to also challenge those around me to set those standards.
Mamba Mentality – Building (Godly) Legacy
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Honestly, this year so far for me has involved a lot of resting and stillness. I am learning to pray for God to lead and direct me like never before. The whole pandemic has brought the whole world on a compulsory standstill and literally forced the world to address certain issues and injustices and we are just recovering from it, yet the world may never go back to what it once was before. For me embracing the mamba mentality means like Kobe Bryant who was a man on a mission, I am inspired to continue to be a girl on a mission and live a life of legacy. It is never to early to build a godly legacy and Kobe has taught us that life is too short not to focus on completing the mission God has ordained for us on Earth.
“God is great, it don’t get no simpler than that bruh…”You can know it all you want but until you’ve gotta pick up that cross that you can’t carry and He picks it up for you and carries you and the cross, then you know.”
excerpt from Kobe Bryant 2006 interview with Stephen A. Smith on ‘Quite Frankly’
We pray for divine wisdom and insight and awareness of the times and seasons we are in at all times. Help us to be sensitive to the leading of your Holy Spirit and equip us with all necessary resources to achieve our mission on earth and beyond in Jesus name. Amen.