As I excitedly celebrate our first football victory of the year (Michigan 59, Central 9), I'm happy to report that I had a lot of thoughts about teamwork and how it relates to 'real life' while I was watching the game. In between the hooting, hollering, and yelling. And snackies. I LOVE football snackies.
I watched the Wolverines work together this year. It wasn't, as the past few years, a show all about one person, or a team that relied too heavily on one aspect. A good team knows they need each other to do the job properly. There isn't a position that's more important than another. One might be used more often, but if the others are not also in play, nothing will get accomplished. If there is no one to block, you don't have a win. If there is no quarterback to throw or run, you don't have a win. If there is no one to receive a pass that's been thrown, you don't have a win.
In the same vein, you might think the people on the sidelines or those behind the scenes are less important, but they all have their calling as well. Cheerleaders are a source of encouragement, rallying the spectators regardless of how it appears the team is doing as a whole. Spectators cheer for their team, make noise to distract the opposing team, celebrate victories, and commiserate in their losses. The band brings everyone together with music, some new and some old, some traditional and some cutting-edge. They play instruments and march and dance, always joyful and supportive. There are offensive and defensive coordinators, assistants, people to help with water or Gatorade, the ones that move the chains, the refs, and so many more that help to make the game possible.
The coach is obviously the most integral part of the entire entity of football. With no coach, the team will fight amongst themselves to appoint leaders, bringing nothing but misery and negativity, ensuring that proper teamwork will not occur and, therefore, no wins, either. With a poor coach, the team cannot reach its potential. With a mean coach, the team, regardless of wins or losses, is made to feel beaten down and discouraged.
However, with a caring, driven, passionate, and COMpassionate coach -- one who is knowledgeable about the game, has a proven record of past wins, who takes the players' individual personalities and abilities into consideration, who has a master plan and knows what it takes to achieve the desired outcome, and who demonstrates strength and commands respect without demeaning the players -- every member of the team will be both fruitful and joyful, and the team will most definitely be victorious.
It seems the same is true for the followers of Jesus. Some of us are good at working with people one-on-one. Some can sing, some can quote scripture and find the perfect verse to comfort someone in need, some can perform skits to bring realities to light, some can bring healing words, some can pray, some can stand on the sidelines and cheer and encourage. Some can write, some can speak, some can listen. Some can lead praise and worship, play guitar or piano, teach our children, serve soup to homeless people, teach job skills, volunteer to make sandwiches for hungry kids on the weekends when they don't get a free meal at school. If every one of us uses the gifts and talents we've been given, the team is a well-oiled machine and the goal can be accomplished.
Best of all, we have the greatest coach in the world -- driven, caring, passionate, and COMpassionate. He is most definitely knowledgeable about the game of life, has a proven record of past
wins (just read the bible!), He takes his followers' individual personalities and abilities into
consideration, has a master plan and knows what it takes to achieve
the desired outcome, and He absolutely demonstrates strength and commands respect
without demeaning anyone. He loves us all the same but created each of us differently, with a different purpose to fulfill both separately and together. If we listen carefully and do what He says, every member of our team will be both
fruitful and joyful, and the team will most definitely be victorious.
How's that for teamwork?