Ellen and I have been watching ESPN’s The Last Dance about the ‘97/’98 Bulls team and all the storyline surrounding them. It is an amazing show and we can’t wait to watch it every Monday (it comes out on Sunday evenings, but by then we’re getting ready for bed). One of the episodes talks about the infamous feud between the Detroit Pistons and the Bulls from ‘89 to ’91, where the Bad Boy Pistons beat the Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals two years in a row using something called the Jordan rules. This caused Michael Jordan to become singularly focused. He became so motivated to beat the Pistons that he started working in the off-season when he was supposed to be taking time off. This inspired all of his teammates to do the same. That upcoming season he continued to work harder and harder throughout, which again motivated his team to do likewise… and just like you would write in a movie, they met the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals in the 1991 playoffs. This time the Bulls swept the Pistons and went on to win their first of six championships in the Jordan era. While this is an amazing story and something that I feel blessed to have seen in my lifetime, something new stuck out to me in this retelling.
Passion is contagious.
This is something that we all innately know. I hear it from parents all the time. They didn’t really care about Disney or Star Wars or Legos, or insert kid thing here, until their kid got SUPER into that, which in turn got them into it too. When someone is passionate about something, they can get others to buy in almost without even trying. I genuinely think that this was part of the draw of Jesus in the gospels. We’re constantly told about crowds who would follow him just to hear him speak, people who would seek him out just to get a glimpse, people who would climb sycamore trees in order to see him walk by. Jesus spoke and acted with passion. He believed his message was important and he walked what he talked. Jesus’ passion was contagious! We, also, can be that kind of contagious. Michael Jordan didn’t tell his teammates to show up for off-season workouts, he just did it because he was passionate about beating the Pistons. Likewise, being passionate about living a Christian life doesn’t mean telling others to live better lives, instead it means being passionate about loving others, helping others, giving of yourself to benefit the whole… and when that is done passionately others will start to want to do it too. So let’s live passionately, let’s give passionately, let’s be contagious!