On Monday night the University of Kansas Jayhawks defeated the University of North Carolina Tarheels in New Orleans to win the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship.
Their fourth Champion in school history was particularly sweet since they made history by coming back from a 16 point deficit, making it the largest comeback in the history of the tournament.
While this didn’t make the mainstream news or find its way onto the color analysis Monday night, several players, including backcourt duo, Joe Yesufu, and Jalen Coleman-Lands, in an interview with CBN Sports shared their faith and how it grounded them in their college careers.
Coleman-Lands said, “My faith is the reason why I’m here today. It’s molded me into the man I am today.”
Yesufu who has Philippians 4:13 in his Twitter bio, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” also credited his Faith for who he is and where he is today, not just in basketball, but as a person.
In the course of the interview, Yesufu offered this insight regarding belief in God’s Word and his faith, “It’s bigger than basketball. That’s the way I look at it.”
His comment jumped off the page, “It’s bigger than basketball.”
As one who played the game both in high school and college, and has remained a fan (my wife might say, “fanatic,”), I know Yesufu is right. While some non-sports fans might shake their heads and think there’s too much emphasis on sports, Yesufu’s observation goes beyond sports in general, or basketball specifically.
Life is filled with both important responsibilities and pleasurable diversions. We all have various roles, hobbies, interests, and secular associations. It’s easy to get so engrossed in our personal activities that we may forget there’s something bigger.
- Bigger than our job, profession, or occupation.
- Bigger than our business involvement.
- Bigger than our club membership.
- BIgger than the sport we enjoy.
- Bigger than the degree we’re pursuing.
- Bigger than the award we earned.
- Bigger than the house we’re building.
- Bigger than the college we’re supporting.
- Bigger than the wealth we’re amassing.
- Bigger than the trip we’re planning.
- Bigger than the retirement we’re anticipating.
In Ephesians 4:1, Paul admonished, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called.” C. G. “Colly” Caldwell’s comment on this verse offers a wonderful insight into that which is bigger.
“The vocation or calling of the Christian is the job of being a Christian. It is the spiritual heavenly calling of God to salvation. It includes the benefits and responsibilities of salvation. It involves what we do in our own lives and what we teach others to do. This ‘vocation’ is the full-time occupation of the child of God. It is our work in life. It is what we do.”
“Christian” is our identity. Our character. Our essence. Our occupation. Oh, we may be a student, an athlete, a college professor, a truck driver, a business executive, an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, or even a rocket scientist. But there’s something bigger.
Our calling, through the gospel (2Thess. 2:14), influences our thinking, directs our decisions, impacts our profession, regulates our activities, controls our feelings, and governs our conscience.
Our calling, according to God’s purpose in Christ, (2 Tim. 1:9), transcends any earthly goal, worldly pursuit, or material achievement. Our calling is higher. Nobler. And greater.
Yes, Joe, there is something bigger than basketball. Or anything else in this world.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman