Saturday, May 23, 2009

an almost serious theological question involving LeBron

Last night my girlfriend and I came in from dinner and settled down to an OnDemand movie. The movie ends, Anna goes up to the bathroom, and I click out to the Cavs-Magic game. Since the program guide says it's been time for NBALive for over 30 minutes, I just go back and check the OnDemand menu again.

Then it strikes me. I still don't know who won the game. I click back, and immediately -- I mean, immediately -- LeBron receives the inbounds pass, steps back, leaps, and bangs in the winning 3-pointer.

As it happens, I'm stunned. Surely this is a replay. But chaos is breaking out everywhere, and after a few minutes it sinks in. This is live. Single greatest NBA shot I've ever seen, especially if the Cavs go on and win. Right there with Michael vs. the Cavs.

Could it be that God didn't want me to miss this shot? Could LeBron be the One? Or maybe the Antichrist? And almost seriously, does God get into little blessings like that?

9 comments:

pgmccullough said...

Mysterious revelation of knowledge via an image of a public spectacle with historical significance? Sounds like an apocalyptic vision to me!

Reverend Ref + said...

Greg: Just found your blogsite. I was at the Festival of Homiletics in Atlanta this past week and picked up your book "Sinners." I'm looking forward to reading it and pleasantly surprised I found your blog.

As to this post and the LeBron Incident: No, I don't think God gets into little blessings like that. Seems to me he has more important things to do than micromanage every little detail. Besides, that opens up a whole theological can of worms I don't have room to go into here.

Greg Carey said...

Thanks for picking up "Sinners"; I hope you enjoy it. And thanks for your comment.

I often wonder about God's role in tiny things. It seems to me that God isn't too busy to enjoy them, but that the "whole can of theological worms" is the place to worry. If God can bless someone in one context, however grand or humble, why does God not bless another person in another context? I don't have an answer for that.

On the other hand, I wonder about the sense of gratitude we feel when something good has happened to us. What is the significance of that?

Ray said...

Greg: my beliefs seem to be in flux these days but one thing I do believe in is: DUMB LUCK! It happens often and I think you were one of its victims as far as LeBron goes.

Reverend Ref + said...

Greg, you said, I often wonder about God's role in tiny things. It seems to me that God isn't too busy to enjoy them, but that the "whole can of theological worms" is the place to worry. If God can bless someone in one context, however grand or humble, why does God not bless another person in another context?
I certainly don't think God is too busy to enjoy the little things. I think we need to enjoy the little things as well. Ray mentioned Dumb Luck, and he's got a point. Sometimes thing happen just because they happen; both good and bad. It's important for us to recognize grace in small things -- the LeBron shot, catching all the green lights when you're late for work, and the like.

The problem comes, I think, when we start attributing EVERYTHING to God. Part of that is your question, "Why does God bless some people and not others?" Taking this to its logical conclusion, God is a grand puppet master and we are the puppets. Another way of putting this is that free will really doesn't exist and we are constantly having our chains yanked by God. And if that's the case, why not go out and eat, drink and be merry, since all we're doing is God's bidding, right?

And that's where I'm not willing to go. Grace in small things, certainly; enjoy them and give thanks for them. But attributing the action to God because "He wanted it that way" . . . Not so much.

Greg Carey said...

I totally agree that God doesn't control everything or pick lucky individuals to bless, leaving the rest to their own devices. Totally.

But is that all there is to say on the question?

Reverend Ref + said...

Oh, probably not.

And that's why there are so many darn theology books.

Luke said...

yay! A post about LeBron!

now Greg, LeBron as antichrist? i don't think so.. but he is the second coming... of M.J. i'm just happy to have him nail the shot for our side this time ;-)

and if you think about it... L.J. is picking up where M.J. left off. Jordan was a score'n machine, 60 points or so some times, and did an alright job on the other parts, but after his first "retirement" he came back and hit every stat category, resulting in triple and quadruple-doubles. LeBron is starting off here and needs to learn how to be a little more selfish cause his team isn't always there to carry him (as evidenced by game 3).

okay.. enough sports, back to theology! woot!

Di McCullough said...

I've been surrounded by conversations about the connection (or lack of, depending on one's position) between God and beauty. It's fun to see another incarnation of the question.