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Playing for God - Jeremy Lin Shuhao

posted 10 Jul 2012, 14:55 by Peter Booth
Jeremy Lin Shuhao is an American-born Chinese who has taken the U.S. and Chinaby storm since he started to play with the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association.

Born in 1988 and educated at Harvard, Lin led his team to seven consecutive wins recently. One excited Mainland Chinese fan claimed: “’Linsanity’ is the hottest word in 2012!” In China, Lin is fast overtaking the legendary Yao Ming in popularity. On Weibo in China, Lin has 2 million fans and a paltry(!) half million or so on Twitter.

What is not widely known in China is that Lin is a committed Christian and has often publicly expressed his faith in God. He has shared frankly how his faith has enabled him to endure the glare of the media spotlight and the intense pressures to succeed.

Here are some of the bold statements of faith made by Lin:

“As the media have paid me more and more attention, I have felt I should play better to please everyone. This has become a great weight on me, and taken away my joy in competing. But actually, I do not play for others, nor to please myself, but I play to please God.”

“When I started, I knew nothing. When I went to my first training session suddenly I was called out to play. My manager and I did not know what to do, so for a period it was very difficult. ... then I would study the Bible, hoping the Lord would give me strength and guidance. ... because of this, I did not give up.”

“My faith is the source of my greatest joy and courage in the face of difficulties. It helps me out of deep troughs, and renews my ability to play basketball.”

“Last season I felt I was sitting on nails, as I had taken on too many pressures. The media put me in the spotlight but the fans supported me, so I felt I should testify I was not playing in the league just for commercial reasons; finally I submitted to God. Now I have been set free and will not fall into that trap again.”

“Now I am faced with unprecedented temptations which have crept into every corner of my life. This is not what I wanted. What I think now is how I can give myself more fully to God and give him even greater glory!”

“I can only say thank you to God for giving me the chance to play at Madison Square Gardens in New York, and thank the fans for their warm support. I was taken aback by my own performance as I never dared think I would do this. But I am very clear about one thing: God’s will is always mysterious, but he is keeping me, and all I need to do is follow his will.”

“Nothing that has happened to me in my life or the people I have met have been under my control but all are God’s gifts to me. I hope everyone will recognize who I am and also understand how God has lavished his grace upon my life.”

“In all the twists and turns, God is faithful! I am happy we won this evening.”

Now there is speculation that Lin might be persuaded to play for the Chinese National basketball team. This would delight his Mainland fans and also present him with even greater opportunities to share his faith.

(From OMF, sourced from VOAWikipedia and Christian quotes from March 2012 edition ofTianfeng.)