lessons in teamwork

Sunday was truly a red letter day for my little man. As he said while changing into pj's last night... "that was the best game of my life". And truly, it was the best game of his two year football career. Zach is always well used during football games- playing on both the offensive and defensive line and on all the special teams (in fact, he has played every minute of every game this season!)... but in this game he not only got to sack the quarterback, but then was put in many times as center, got to assist with field goals by holding the ball for the kicker, was able to return a kick-off... and the crowning moment, his coaches then put him in as running back and after a couple of tries he scored his first official TOUCHDOWN! I was so stinking excited for him! I'm not going to lie, I was pretty stoked for myself too because I happened to be on the sidelines taking pictures as it all unfolded. His coaches were so happy for him, each of them asking "Did you get it mom? Did you get the shot?" And from the sidelines, I could hear all of our friends and family yelling and cheering for him. It was electric! 

Sure it was just a youth football league. And our team was so far ahead that we didn't need another touchdown. But what an experience for him. And as I proudly proclaimed on Facebook after the fact... it was then that I officially became a football mom! Zach and I rushed home to check out the pics I had taken. He gave me the play by play through the game as we relived each moment in time captured on film. Great shot of the QB sack! Cool pics of him set to hike the ball! Action shots of him returning a kick-off! And of course the money shot of his first touch down! But of all the pics I took yesterday (a couple hundred!)... this is the picture that impacted me the most...

And it has nothing to do with the determination on my sons face... or the excitement I felt in this moment... or the cheers I could hear from his daddy...

It's because of the boys surrounding Zachary. His teammates, his friends... going before and behind, to the left and the right... complete protection as he runs the ball toward the end zone. They have him covered. This is what teamwork looks like. The boys I see in this picture are the ones that are usually running the ball... chasing the glory that lies just a few yards away while Zach stands in the gap for them on the line. But this time the roles are reversed and they are taking their job seriously. They've been there, they know when he gets to the end zone everyone will be yelling his name, not theirs... but they recognize their job as no less important. Protect the runner, make a hole, lead him through the chaos to the goal line.

It makes me cry to look at this picture.  And I can't help but think... what if we acted like this in the Body of Christ?  What if we worried less about who got the "glory" of a score on the board and more about just reaching the end zone? If entire church bodies would look at who's currently carrying the ball, and rally around them, cover them, protect them and carry them to the goal line. If rather than breaking out in jealousy when the church down the street experiences a "boom"... we would rejoice with them because we realize that it's not about the number of people in independent buildings... it's about the number of souls going to HEAVEN... it's about de-populating Hell. THAT'S the goal... and it doesn't matter if my church gets there this time, and yours the next, those points still go on the board...

I once read:
There is no limit to what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit. {I've researched this quote, and it's attributed to at least three different people, so we are going to call it "Author Unkown"}

That's what I see in the picture of my son. A group of boys unconcerned with who gets the credit, single-mindedly focused on reaching the end zone... together.  And while these are just the boys caught on film actively protecting Zach, he pointed out that on a subsequent run someone on the line failed to block and he got creamed. That kid was in the position Zach usually plays... and in that moment he fully understood the importance of his job on the line. It takes a team to make a touchdown... it takes a Body to save the lost.

Can we, for the sake of the lost and dying of this world, tear down denominational {read man-made} walls and rejoice with one another? Cover one another? Protect one another? Realize that our common goal is not to fill our individual pews, but to populate Heaven? That we are about Kingdom Work not congregation building? That there are enough lost and dying in our communities that there should never be a cause for stealing sheep from another flock? After all, would a coach go and grab kids off the other team when he has kids ready to play standing on the sidelines?

And within our local bodies... what if we rallied around our Pastors the way we see these young boys rally around their QB? What if we flanked him/her... front, back, to the left and to the right. What if we stood in the gap in prayer, standing against the schemes of the enemy, being a first line of defense as he/she prepares the charge into the end zone? What if rather than criticizing, or neglecting, or tearing down... we built them up, encouraged, and protected? As Zach learned when he was in the back field... when the line fails, the play fails. Realize that your role in the Body is just as important as any other... whether you are on the line, or running the ball, or calling the plays... and if any one part of the Body fails... the line fails to block, the QB is slow on the hand off, the running back fumbles the ball... the play fails.  If you aren't standing in the gap, praying for your pastor every day (count me guilty...!) you are leaving him/her open to the schemes of the Enemy! If you get the message of salvation and fail to carry it into this lost and dying world, you've fumbled the play! Romans 12:3-8 says:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body...We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. [NIV]

God has gifted each of us differently. Our role is to realize what He has called us to do within the Body, and then do it with excellence. Give it 110% like I see these little boys doing in this picture. Single-mindedly working toward the common goal of reaching the LOST and growing His Kingdom! There is no limit, Church, to what we can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit! It doesn't matter if you are on the line, or the kick-off team, run the ball or call the plays... it's about the Kingdom... and there is ONLY One who is deserving of the glory anyway! So rise up, friends... and take a lesson from this group of youth football players. After all, it's not about who's name goes in the book as haing made a TD... it's about whose name goes in the Lamb's Book of LIFE!

Psalm 133 {NLT}
How wonderful and pleasant it is
     when brothers live together in harmony!
For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil
     that was poured over Aaron's head,
     that ran down his beard
     and onto the border of his robe.
Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon
     that falls on the mounts of Zion.
And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing,
     even life everlasting.


Brittany H said...

Very inspiring Becky. As I read your thoughts on the picture, I truly got goosebumps and very stirred emotionally. What a great opportunity you had to capture a moment like this on "film" (even though I'm sure there was not film).

Susan M said...