The sudden death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter and of 7 others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, has predominated the media this week. When sudden death is the description of an intense playoff in sports, it’s exciting! But when sudden death means people died too soon, by accident, it’s only tragic.
There are many lessons to draw from this news event. Many are upset at the loss of a great sports figure. His supremacy will be debated, but he was truly great at basketball. Hours of sports reporting will be given to that. Kobe Bryant will certainly be put in the Hall of Fame.
Many others feel that too much attention was placed on the Bryants and not enough on their fellow passengers. After all, they were people, too. They had families, too. Doubtless the news media will let us all know when all of the funerals are, not just the one for the Bryants. All of us really do understand that 9 people died, not just 2.
I heard several grieving people on television and radio saying, “Hold your loved ones tight. Be sure to tell people you love them.” This is an excellent word to us all. Don’t take any moments for granted.
That’s closer to the lesson I drew from these sudden deaths. That lesson is this: very often, death comes unexpectedly. There’s no way that Kobe Bryant, or any of the other occupants of that helicopter, got up Sunday morning and expected to depart this world. They expected to have a great day playing and coaching basketball. We all fall into a common assumption, “I’ve got plenty of time. I won’t die for another 40 years. Someday, I’ll get right with the Lord. But I’ve got plenty of time.”
Media reports say that Kobe and his daughter Gigi were at their church’s Mass on Sunday morning. That gives me hope that Kobe and Gigi had heard the gospel of Jesus and had received it joyfully and that their souls were prepared to enter eternity. But the urgent Word of God for days like these is, “You may be next!” The Bible says God numbers our days and He alone know how long we will live. We must be prepared to enter eternity at any moment. So, the next time someone asks you to tell them the Good News, tell them! The next time you are around people of a different culture, tell them the Good News!
We don’t have a moment to lose!