So yesterday was my 30th birthday. To celebrate (a day early) a childhood friend of mine and I went to the NBA Opening Night game for the Charlotte Hornets. Now to give you a little background if you don’t know…
The Charlotte Hornets started as a team in the late ’80s. They moved to New Orleans in the early 2000s and took the name with them (New Orleans Hornets). The city of Charlotte decided to get another team and was awarded a new franchise to be called the Charlotte Bobcats. The city never really embraced the Bobcats like they did the Hornets before they left. In 2013, the New Orleans Hornets decided to change their name to the New Orleans Pelicans which made more sense to that region. With that decision, the Charlotte Bobcats decided to reclaim the name of the Hornets and go back to their original colors and identity from the beginning in the ’80s.
So…back to my story. We were there to witness the Charlotte NBA team take the floor for the first time in over 12 years as the Hornets. Now I’ve been to Bobcats games over the years, but the excitement around this game was something I haven’t seen in that city in a long time. The city has really gotten behind the team and identified with them. This is a new era in Charlotte NBA basketball, and by simply changing their name back to the original mascot and using the original teal and purple colors, they have re-energized the entire city of Charlotte and all the Hornets fans from the beginning.
So you may be wondering, what in the world does this have to do with anything? Well it brought up two points that I wanted to share.
1. The Power of a Name
All they did was change the name. It’s the same players and coaches and building. They just are identified under a different name. How true is that with our relationship with Jesus. As soon as we accept Him and begin to identify with His name and not our own, then there is a new energy and new purpose behind all we do. The name of Jesus is a powerful thing, and by simply using it and identifying yourself with it you can make a positive impact in your life and the lives of those around you. Don’t ever underestimate what the power of a simple name can do, regardless of where you have been or what you have done.
2. Start Brand New
Being my 30th birthday this point is easy to write about. I was thinking about all the terrible seasons the Bobcats have had in the past few years. The many games they have lost and had the worst record in the NBA multiple times. But last night, no one talked about that. No one mentioned the Bobcats once. They only cared about the Hornets. They cared about the future. It’s was GAME 1 of the Charlotte Hornets and that’s all that mattered. They knew the bad things / seasons from the past didn’t matter anymore. This is a powerful thing to remember as a follower of Christ. Jesus says He forgets our past and forgives us. He doesn’t care what we have done in the past, He doesn’t look at our past record. He is as excited to love us as He was from day one.
So, start today…this is GAME 1 (Opening Night) of the rest of your life, and Jesus wants you to identify yourself with His name. If you haven’t done that, let me know and I am always happy to help you figure out how to make that change.