For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
"Remember success is a team sport. Success is not shaped in a vacuum; it takes a team of like-minded people moving in the same direction to successfully achieve success. Everyone on the team plays a unique role and contributes their part to the overall success." ~ Larry Lewis, http://networkedblogs.com/tqoib
When my son, Daniel, is age seven, he asks to play baseball. I am thrilled as I am a big believer in team sports for children. Learning teamwork at an early age sets the groundwork for success in school and in life.
We sign up to play in the county-sponsored little league. After seemingly endless bench-warming sessions watching his team practice, the day of Daniel's first game arrives at last.
My daughter, Sarah, and I sit together in the stands with scores of other parents and siblings. When Daniel comes to bat for the first time, we hold our breath, cross our fingers.
Let him get a hit. Oh, please, Lord, just one hit . . .
The first pitch is a solid strike over the plate. Daniel doesn't even swing.
"Way to go! Just two more strikes! He can't hit!"
I am appalled.
In the stand of the opposing team, a parent is screeching at the top of her lungs. Daniel can't help but hear her.
This time, Daniel swings. And, misses.
As the pitcher prepared to deliver the next ball, the woman is egging on the crowd.
"Strike him out! Strike him out! Strike him out!" Rolls the thundering chant.
I peer anxiously at Daniel's face. His jaw is clenched determinedly. Eyes riveted on the pitcher.
Just . . . one . . . hit . . .
Right over the pitcher's head.
Right into the shortstop's mitt.
Wild cheer from the opposing team's over-zealous fans.
But, it isn't just them. From the parents of our team emerge the same derogatory comments directed at the opposing team when they come up to bat. They even berate their own when mistakes are made.
And, yelling at the umpires? Carte Blanche!
I endure the season; a maddeningly disappointing season as, in this negative, childish atmosphere, the boys don't bond as a team. They gloat when they win. They pout when they lose.
They are not taught to encourage each other. To work together. To understand good sportsmanship.
To win with humility. To lose with grace.
To value the contribution of each team member.
To know that true success comes only when one puts the success of another first.
Who are the people in your life who have helped shape your success? How have you encouraged others to succeed?
Will you pray with me?
Thank you, Father, for the unique talents You have given to us. Let us use these to encourage and support others on their road to success. Let us build others up, not tear them down. May we, as Christians, work together in faith to bring this world closer to Your kingdom. Amen.
Psalms 119:97-120 or 81, 82
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