The Faith and Fate of Jeremy Lin
We've talked about how your faith shapes your approach to basketball. But how has basketball shaped your faith? Has God used basketball to shape your character, to teach you, to strengthen you?
Absolutely. I've learned so many things through basketball, and God has really molded me and tested and affirmed my faith through basketball. Given my experiences, if I look back at everything that's happened, it's hard for me not to trust God and know that he has a perfect plan for me.
In a sense, it's easy for me. Since I've been given so much through basketball, it's easier for me to be thankful to God. But at the same time, basketball has humbled me a great deal. The more I play, the more I realize that the outcome is less up to me, and there's less I can control.
But there's so much more, so many lessons God has taught me through basketball-everything from pride to self-control to worth ethic and love and unselfishness.
You mention humility. How could it be that God has used basketball to humble you, when you've achieved so much? Wouldn't your basketball successes only make you more prideful?
No, it really is humbling. You might be able to relate to this, since you were a gymnast. There are times when I'm out there on the basketball court and it feels like I'm not even controlling my own body. It's almost as though someone else is using me as a puppet. There are things I do, that, when I look at them afterwards, I wonder how I did that. In moments like that, I realize that there is something more to what's happening around me, something supernatural about it.
It's also humbling in another way. When I won that state championship with Palo Alto High School, well, we would talk about winning the title. Deep down inside, though, you're not fully expecting the victory because only one team in the entire state can win it. So, to be able to be there at that point in that tournament, to have that opportunity, I was, more than anything, just grateful. There were so many things that had to happen just perfectly. Tiny differences could have taken us out of contention for a championship.
The other reason that athletic success can be humbling is because, even after you win a state championship, it's not as fulfilling as you had thought it would be. That's humbling, too, and it says something about the way we chase after materialistic and worldly things.
Read Part 2 of the interview here, which focuses on Lin's Asian-American heritage.
Also see Patheos' new Faith and Sports Portal for more stories of faith and sport.
Dr. Timothy Dalrymple is the Associate Director of Content at Patheos, and writes weekly on faith, politics, and culture for Patheos' Evangelical Portal. Follow him at his blog, Philosophical Fragments, on Facebook or on Twitter.