Do you remember that Gatorade commercial with Michael Jordan? Think for a minute, it originally aired in 1992 and it encouraged viewers through it’s catchy song to, “Be Like Mike,” and “Drink Gatorade.”
I loved this ad. I would go out to my sports court and try to be just like MJ. And thanks in large part to our adjustable hoop, I was. I’d lower it down to 7’6” and dominate my imaginary competition. Unfortunately this really stunted the development of my jump shot. I wouldn’t fully realize the consequences until I was playing (sitting on the bench) in high school.
I wanted to, “Be Like Mike,” as did millions of other kids growing up in the 80’s and 90’s.
Now warp ahead nearly 20 years. I’m not like Mike. My shot never developed because I kept the hoop under 8 feet.
Instead I’m right where God wants me serving as the youth pastor in the church I grew up in. In many ways, the life I’m living is a dream come true in itself.
Last week I was in a restaurant visiting with a family after I had performed a graveside service for their mother who passed away at the age of 82. “Grandma Jackie” left behind her husband of 63 years, her three children, 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. She went quickly and the family is dealing with the loss as best they know how.
While sitting and visiting with the family I sat down for a few moments with Myron, the widower. As you could imagine, he was sad to see his wife go before him, but as he looked across the crowded private room of the restaurant his eyes watered for a different reason.
He was overwhelmed emotionally by the generations that filled the room with chatter, hugs, memories and laughter. He was humbled by the legacy that he and his late wife had built.
It was then, at that moment, that I began to understand this scripture:
Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children. (Proverbs 17.6 NLT)
Myron was in awe of what God had done through he and Jackie’s lives. God was faithful and Myron watched on as childeren’s laughter and conversation filled the room.
Despite his incredible loss Myron recognized how much he really had.
I’ve decided that maybe I won’t, “Be Like Mike,” after all. My new goal, God willing, is to be like Myron.