Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 19, 2018

"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love,which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 2:13-15

One of the reasons sports have always been so meaningful to me is the “we” nature of being part of a team.

The first day of tryouts is very tense and pressure-packed because several dozen “me’s” show up hoping to make the team. As I looked around at all the other “me’s” I wondered how good they were. Were they as good as me? How many were trying to beat me out for my position? Would I be good enough to beat them out? Would the coach like me?

As the tryouts progress it begins to sort things out I you get the chance to show how I can hit and throw and catch the ball. By the end of the day you have a better idea how many of the “me’s” will be part of the “we”.

On the fateful day when the “list” is posted, all the “me’s” anxiously gather around to search for their names on the “list” that defines which “me’s” will constitute the “we”.

What a relief to see my name on the “list”! But the list isn’t where the “me’s” become the “we”. It is only through those grueling days of conditioning and training and drills and scrimmages that the “me’s” begin to trust one another and respect one another and rely on one another that the “we” emerges from the group of “me’s”. Now it is about the TEAM! There is no “I” in TEAM!

It feels great to be part of the TEAM! Few things in life are better than when the “me’s” are molded into the “we”! The group of individuals has chosen to submit to the same coach and have committed to the same goals and sacrifice for the same purpose so OUR TEAM can win!

The key to shifting from “Me” to “We” is submission to something bigger and better and more important than just being me. “We” is always more effective than “Me”. In fact, each “Me” becomes better as part of the “We”.

Steve Packer, Dick Wickstrom, Jay Winterholter and me are forever linked because of what "we" accomplished as teammates on the Indiana Wesleyan University baseball team. We were all part of the first collegiate baseball team to represent that great university and this was just the second college baseball game of what has become a highly respected athletic program. But Steve, Dick, Jay and I pulled off the first triple-play in the history of IWU baseball.  Triple plays are very rare. Obviously, not one of us could have done it alone. It took all four of us!

This forever moment happened when Steve threw the pitch on a 3-2 with bases loaded and no one out.  The batter ripped a sinking line toward left field where Dick made a diving shoestring catch. Because it looked like the ball would fall for a hit, all the runners were running. Dick jumped to his feet after making the catch for the first out and threw to Jay at second base to make the out on the runner there. While all this was going on the runner on third had gone back to the base, tagged up and was barreling down the line toward home plate. When Jay fired the ball to me and I put the tag on the sliding runner, the triple play was completed!

What is true of great team is also true of great churches.They accomplish great feats for God that no one Christian could do alone!

Will you help your pastor build a great church? 

Will you submit to that team?