The Carmelo Contractual Blues

If you are not a sports fan, then the headline for this post probably made no sense to you.  Actually, even if you are sports fan it might not have made any sense.  So let me explain.  Carmelo Anthony is a professional basketball player who was traded from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks this morning.  And that got me singing the “Carmelo Contractual Blues…”

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Carmelo don’t like us…

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Says he likes the Knick’s more

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And now he is gone…

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And I feel abandoned, betrayed, and unwanted right down to my core!

I got those “Carmelo Contractual Blues”

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Well, I guess that I am not the best blues ballad writer either, but you are probably wondering why I am writing about this NBA deal at all?  Well, at least to some extent it’s probably because it’s cathartic for me.  You see, I am a Nuggets fan and I was extremely excited when Denver selected Carmelo with the 3rd pick of the 2003 NBA Draft.  The Nuggets had languished in relative obscurity for several years before Carmelo’s arrival, and he brought them back to relevance.  But Carmelo didn’t want to play in Denver anymore.  He and his wife wanted the bright lights of New York City.  So I am sad to see him leave.  And I guess writing about it helps me process it.

But I do have a point that I want to make as well.  Thinking about the Carmelo trade has me thinking about contracts.  A contract is basically a decision between 2 parties with each side having specific things that they are to do or not do.  Denver made a contract offer to Carmelo when they drafted him and he chose to accept that contract and for the last 7 and a half seasons he has been a Denver Nugget.  He has lived up to his end of the contract.  He did everything he said he would do and then some.  He has averaged 20 points or more per game each year.  He was a 4-time all star.  He led them to the playoffs every season since joining the team and led them to 2 division titles and one western conference final.  So nobody can say that he didn’t fulfill his end of the contract. 

The problem is that after fulfilling that contract, he is now deciding to play for someone else.  You see, today’s trade came about because Carmelo’s contract was going to run out at the end of the season.  Which means that this summer he would have become a free agent.  And that means that he could have signed a new contract with whoever he wanted to sign with.  Cleveland Cavaliers fans went through that last summer with Lebron James taking his talents to South Beach.  Carmelo at least gave the Denver Nuggets a heads up to let them know that he did not want to play for them anymore.  So they became proactive and started the process of trying to trade him before he left. 

I guess that I should be happy that the Nuggets at least got something for Carmelo.  I am sure that Cavaliers fans would have preferred to have Lebron leave in that way.  But I still would have preferred to have Carmelo stay in Denver.  Speaking as a fan it is easy to feel betrayed, abandoned, and unwanted.  After all, Carmelo decided that he would rather play for someone else instead of us.  That’s what has me singing the “Carmelo Contractual Blues.”

But that also got me thinking about contracts in general and specifically the contract or covenant that my Heavenly Father has with me.  He has chosen to make me a part of His team.  He has given me an amazing deal.  He has forgiven me of all of my sins, cleansed me from all of my unrighteousness, and made a place for me to be with Him for all eternity in Heaven.  And the amazing thing is that it is not because of anything that I bring to the table.  It is not because I am perfect or awesome.  Actually, it is in spite of who I am and what I have done.  He makes this convenant with me based on the sacrifice of His Son and has me accept the deal through faith. 

But the thing that has me so thankful today is that I know He will never change His mind.  He will never choose to pass me over for someone else.  He will never decide that there is a better option out there for Him.  This covenant is everlasting and fully guaranteed.  I am His and He is mine!  Forever.  So the feelings of abandonment and betrayal that I have because Carmelo has chosen to go somewhere else, I will never have with my Lord who has chosen me forever.  Praise the Lord.  And “Go Nuggets!”

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