The Spurs just won their 5th NBA title this year. That makes them 4th all time in the NBA, but they’re up against the Boston Celtics’ record of 17, with 8 in a row from 1959 to 1966. That’s incredible. But five is also incredible, and they’ve done it with more or less the same group of core players each time. Anyway, I tend to really dislike the Spurs because, I don’t know, they always win, and I’m a Suns fan. There were a few years there at the height of the Suns’ Steve Nash era where it seemed like every time we felt like we had a chance to make it to the Finals, Tim Duncan was just standing there, like, “Nope.” Grrr. But, they are a really good team, not flashy, but really, really good. So, I let my bitterness go and decided to be really happy for the Spurs and learn more about them, because Tim Duncan is 38 years old and just won his 5th title. That’s quite a career. I watched a little YouTube video about his life and career (this link is for part 1), and it made me sorry that I disliked him so much. He seems like a nice guy, and he’s one of those people who just worked really hard and then got swept up by “luck”. I even felt inspired by how he found his path in life. A hurricane and his mother dying when he was a teenager pushed him away from the sport he loved, swimming, and towards a sport he wasn’t very good at, basketball. At least in the video, he attributed this to God’s direction for his life. I was thinking all about this during my “lunch walk” today. He says he wasn’t very good at basketball at the beginning, but through encouragement and practice, he got good enough to be recruited by a US university, where he got good enough to be a number 1 draft pick! The guy is talented, but I’m sure that also involved lots and lots and lots of hard, hard work.
And I was wondering - Am I putting in that kind of effort towards the purpose God has for me? Am I floating through, or am I really giving it my all? It was a little heart-check moment. I’m not talking about earning God’s grace. No way. I’m talking about what God has me on the earth to do, my “calling” or whatever you want to call it. Am I doing the hard work required to be a great wife and mother? Am I sweating it out to be a better teacher? I could definitely improve. Not to please people or earn praise, but just to be the best I can be.
I also thought about the book I’m reading now, Raising Kids for True Greatness by Dr. Tim Kimmel (Amazon affiliate link below). I’m just a few chapters in, but so far the book is making a case for our goal for our kids to be “true greatness” instead of “success”. It seems like Tim Duncan’s parents raised him for true greatness, and he found success along the way as a byproduct.
I never thought I would be inspired to follow God more closely and parent with more purpose by Tim Duncan. Thank you, God. And thank you, Mr. Duncan. Congratulations on amazing success!