The. Best. Year. Ever.
The Golden State Warriors NBA team is all the rage these days. For years they were a championship afterthought. Last year, Golden State won the title, and now they just completed the best regular season of all time. They eclipsed Michael Jordan’s 1996 Bulls team by winning 73 games in one season (out of a possible 82). It’s one of those records no one ever expected to fall.
Somehow, this created controversy. Old greats were talking about today’s professional basketball player being soft. Oscar Robertson said they don’t know how to play defense. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar agreed. Other not-so-great former players suggest their teams could have beat this team. Lots of talk is coming from lots of places.
For the Golden State players it is irritating, annoying and even insulting. They need to get used to it. How they play the game – shooting and sharing the basketball and playing defense is different. It’s a different that has led to greatness. And greatness creates controversy.
In sports greatness is always more than just athletic ability. It’s no different than any other area of life. Talent only gets you so far.
Greatness creates controversy.
The. Best. Heart. Ever.
Another perennial losing team is stirring up controversy for winning – the Kansas City Royals. The way they win baseball games isn’t supposed to happen. It’s led to updated theories and new strategy. It also has created a star out of their general manager, Dayton Moore.
Everyone wants to know what the secret sauce is. Pitching? Defense? Offense? In an Kansas City Star article, Moore talked about building a great team. Definitely the right type of athlete with a specific gift mix is important, but according to Moore, it’s deeper than that.
What’s hard for a lot of people is to recognize what’s in the heart…I’ve come to believe that’s the most important. If someone will give their heart away, then they care. -Dayton Moore
What are you giving your heart for?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about George Lucas. He took an idea (Star Wars), and he turned it into billions of dollars. I was reminded of his combination of talent and heart this past weekend watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with my boys. It’s a great, now classic, movie.
As we saw with the Golden State Warriors, though, greatness doesn’t mean there won’t be criticism. For fun, I looked at the Rotten Tomatoes score for Raiders of the Lost Ark – 96% positive. That means, 4% of people consider this classic not worth the time to watch.
The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.
The combination of heart + talent + action = criticism. Every time.
My wife is a great portrait photographer. She corrects things in a portrait most competent photographers never even notice. She’s been recognized as the top in her field on the state, regional and national levels. This week she was working on the 5th round of retouching for a client. They criticized her work 5 separate times.
Do something – even something really well – and you will be criticized.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m not being criticized enough.
There’s a story in the bible about the Israelites. They’ve just entered into the Promised Land and unexpectedly lost a battle. For 7 days they marched around Jericho, and God miraculously delivered it into their hands. They then move on to the much smaller city of Ai. They expect a cakewalk. They are defeated. No, they are trounced.
Joshua is their leader (Moses replacement). He is understandably shaken. Joshua literally lays on the ground and cries to God.
God stops Joshua with two direct words,
Stop crying. Stop complaining. Act.
Sure you’ll be criticized, but you’ll be doing something.
I’m an associate pastor at a church in Kansas City. This past Sunday, we baptized 46 people. I don’t know your perspective, but that’s a lot of baptisms for one Sunday in our world.
It might have never happened.
We are working hard to change culture. This is the church’s 50th anniversary. That’s incredible but also a bunch of history to overcome. We need to grow, and growth means change. Changing things invites criticism.
Truthfully, people just don’t understand. That’s not their problem. It’s ours.
This Sunday, we moved our baptismal to the foyer. We promoted it. We live streamed it. We prepared for people to be baptized (even if they weren’t planning on it). It was totally different – change.
If we hadn’t done it, 46 people would be the same today as they were just a few days ago. We took our heart for people, added talent and acted. It gained us a bit of criticism, but it created 46 stories that might never have been. It was a step toward greatness for the Kingdom of God.
This week, take your heart + your talent + action and prepare for criticism. More importantly, prepare for greatness.