Skip to main content

Life is a team sport

As a child, did you ever do that thing most kids do where someone asks you what you want to "be" when you grow up and you declare something like astronaut, fireman, nurse, doctor, or the like?  The "what do you want to be" question haunts us for about 18+ years into our college years when we somehow are expected to know what it is we want to do with the rest of our lives.  I know many a college student who "goes to" college or university, only to take a good two years of studies just as a way of trying to again "figure out" what whey are going to be when they "grow up".  It is sort of like "going" will somehow create this excitement in you that will settle the question.  The truth is, we often pursue things we think will bring us fulfillment in life without any real assurance they will.  I know many a person who invested a great deal of money and time into pursuing one career only to find it wasn't really what they wanted "to be" when they grew up!  If someone asks me that same question, I tell them to wait until I grow up and I'll let them know!

Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love. (Ephesians 4:2 VOICE)

There are a couple of things we need to "be" AS we are on this pathway to "growing up" - humble, gentle, patient, and loving.  We kind of get this "growing up" think "right" when we embrace these four attributes along the way!  It is sort of like no matter what we are "becoming" in the sense of career or "position" in life, we are "becoming" the right kind of person along the way!

- If growing up doesn't make you humble, nothing will!  The process of growth is a truly humbling experience - for no real "growth" takes place apart from having the right attitude toward one's self-importance and self-ability.  The truly humble man or woman knows they don't make it on their own, nor do they "make it" to the point of full development in life without some stumbles along the way.  Humility is learned in the times we stumble, but also in the times we come to recognize each stumble is an opportunity to "need" someone in our life outside of ourselves.  We need Jesus in our lives, but we also need each other to help us embrace what Jesus is teaching us along the way and hold us accountable to the truths we are learning.

- Not all of growth will be "gentle" in how it occurs, but there is a certain gentleness which comes in the midst of growth. As I watch things sprout up in the garden, I notice there is some tenacious growth at first, but the "fruit" of the tomato plant comes not in sudden bursts of growth, but in the slow and consistent, gentle development which occurs over time. We don't always grow up in dynamic spurts of energetic ways. Sometimes we need a little gentleness in the mix to help us embrace what is occurring, but also to accept the process taking a little longer than we may have hoped!  When we think of growing up, gentleness with each other is that period of time when we allow what is transpiring on the inside to just "mellow" a little - not demanding the evidence of development, but waiting until we see it finally begin to show the hints of "ripening".

- Patience is one of the hardest parts of "growing up".  When we were kids, we wanted to do things the bigger kids got to do, didn't we?  We didn't understand why the big kids got to ride two-wheel bikes when we had to ride a tricycle.  We didn't understand our balance wasn't developed yet well enough to allow us to ride the two-wheel bike.  Even when we did take off on that first ride on the two-wheeler, we probably still had training wheels!  That meant we went from a three-wheel bike to a four-wheel bike - just in case you weren't counting!  We perceived we were taking a huge step forward in our growth, but in fact, we were needing a little more support than we might have imagined!  Growth in a spiritual, emotional, or "maturity" kind of way really isn't making huge moves without a little bit of the "training wheel" kind of moments along the way!  We imagine we are growing leaps and bounds, but we are just as "dependent" upon the training wheels to keep us upright for a while as we were on the "tripod" kind of set-up a tricycle gave us while we were developing the skill of just "riding" through life.  It is not something to be ashamed of, but a natural thing to need support along the way as we are growing up.  To be patient with ourselves and others as this growing process is underway is one of the greatest gifts we can embrace.

- Lastly, we need to love one another and what it is God is doing within us individually and as a "team" during this growth process.  Growing up is kind of a "team sport", my friends.  First, we get the best coaches in the whole wide world - Jesus and his counterpart, the Holy Spirit.  We get the most concise and precise rule book to help guide us in our learning along the way - the Bible.  We get the greatest audience to watch us make strides in our team's progress - God the Father and a plethora of heavenly hosts.  In all of this, we come to a place where we have to genuinely be "in love" with the process of learning to work together, as well as learning to "love each other" as a member of the "team".  We don't just get along in life - we have a whole lot of "practice" in learning how to support one another, challenge the other guy in a way which doesn't break him down, but encourages him to try again, and developing together so we come out stronger because of the time we have spent learning with each other.  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean