So LeBron James decided to take his talents to Los Angeles.
When LeBron left the first time there was a visceral reaction. Fans felt abandoned. Jerseys were burned, and social media lit up with rants about loyalty and the lack thereof. This time the anger is not there but there is a resigned sadness. Everyone hoped this day would never come, and yet it did. No one should really be surprised.
I know when LeBron came back to Cleveland it was billed as the “Return of the King.” He was going to pick up all of Cleveland sports in his strong, tattooed arms and carry us to the Promise Land. And he did in 2016. And we told ourselves one championship would quench our thirst and we would be forever satisfied. And yet we found ourselves thirsty again the very next year. So it goes.
This is the truth: LeBron was always going to leave us.
Maybe this feels early but it always does. If it wasn’t this year, then some time down the road we would be having a retirement party for him. We tell ourselves that if only it would have happened that way we would be satisfied. But of course, we wouldn’t be satisfied because we have an infinite thirst and he is finite water.
There’s a reason God created us with a need for water. We all wake up every day and the clock is ticking inside our bodies. The clock is telling us we need to drink something, and we need it soon. Thirst is a reminder that we are dependent on something to keep our bodies alive. It’s also a reminder that we need something to keep our souls alive.
The problem is that my soul is infinite, and that means what I thirst for must also be infinite. Trying to slake the thirst of my soul with anything in this world will never work. That’s why LeBron was never going to be enough. Neither will your job, your children, your success, or anything else that seems like it’s hitting the spot right now. When something is hitting the spot, we hope that moment will never end. But it always does. Always.
LeBron leaving has reminded me that the one I really need is Jesus. Every single loss we experience in this life is also a gift to remind us of the One who will never leave and never forsake, and we will finally be experiencing the moment that will never end.
That’s the moment I’m really thirsting for after all.