Tonight I’m sitting watching our eldest son Ben at his third soccer training session for the week. It’s cold and the lights are coming on because it’s going to be dark out on the pitch soon. But Ben and his teammates don’t seem to notice any of that. They’re busy running laps and doing drills together, laughing and participating in friendly banter with one another. From a huddle of young men that didn’t really know one another a few months ago they are building a team.
Being part of a team is about being part of a family, with a common goal and vision. It’s good for us; it helps us to connect, to learn more about ourselves, to gain leadership skills, to give to others and to hone our people skills (they’re the skills that allow us to interact with others and involves communication, attitude and work ethic).
My husband and I are a team. We have grown to learn how to work together, to rely on each others strengths, and to fill in the gaps with one another’s weaknesses. We help one another to get things done, and to fulfil the dreams God has placed in our hearts. We always endeavour to back each other up, and we know we are better together!
But “better together” didn’t just happen overnight. Much like a soccer or football team, there’s been times as a team we’ve had to change strategy, to regroup, to hone our skills in an area to make things work better, and to choose to keep running when the going has gotten tough.
We’ve discovered that we really need to rely on God, our coach for directives on how to “play” well, and how to navigate as our team has grown bigger with children, friends, work and church family. We’ve discovered that we don’t have to “fly solo”, because God will always bring people around us if our hearts are open and we allow Him to. (Psalm 68:6)
We know that we need to constantly be strengthening and building the basic team of Jesus and us, and then He’ll add from there. For without that solid foundation and connection with Jesus it’s much more likely to all topple down and we’ll end up in an exhausted heap.
Helen Keller an American author, political activist and lecturer who was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree knew the importance of teamwork. Her many accomplishments were made possible through the teamwork and friendship of her instructor and teacher Anne Sullivan. Helen Keller said, “walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light, for “alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.
Today as you go through your day don’t forget to check how your team is looking, and seek to strengthen it? How is the foundational team of you and Jesus going? Have you taken some time to listen and hang out with Him recently; to hear His plans and strategy? How are the other team members around you, your partner and family, your church, work or social group? Because being part of a team means making a commitment to one another, determining to fill in the gaps when someone else can’t, to back each other up rather than join the opposition, and to believe in one another.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you are always willing for me to be on your team and part of your family. Help me to know just how great a team that is, and to choose to include those people that you have brought around me to be part of my winning team too. I don’t have to fly solo anymore. In Jesus name Amen.