Words. The means of communication. Tools of expression. The building blocks of understanding one another. I have lots of words–I’ve been told I have a knack for filling air space with words. Words can be useful, encouraging, uplifting, soothing and helpful. They can also be hurtful, spiteful, hateful, disruptive, accusing and shaming. Words can build up, and words can tear down. Equally well. I’ve had experiences where I’ve quite capably done both Not a lot to be proud of there.
We’re living in a time of increased technology where we are able to communicate with one another immediately. Where our words can be out there before we think twice about them. We can tweet, text and generally litter the web with our sound bites. But is it all worth saying? And if we were to be face to face with an individual, would we say the things we say when we’re two-finger typing? And an even more telling issue–do we have what it takes to say things well to someone when we are face to face?
Football season is upon us. Games that used to be relegated to the weekends are now popping up throughout the week.
It’s how I misplace my husband till the Superbowl is over.
I do like the idea of football. Two teams working together to win a game. Everyone sacrificing life and limb on the playing field.
It all begins with the kick-off.
You can talk about team line-ups and individual plays, strengths, and weaknesses of the offense and defense. But until that kick-off happens, it’s all just words and perspective.
There can be no winner unless the game is played.
We just had our kick-off retreat for our new year of people and process. Fifty adults, with more than that many children, showed up, travel-weary, transition-wary, hesitantly hopeful of what the year will hold for them. They’re coming from all over the world, and now that all are here and mostly moved in, we begin at the beginning.
The similarities to football don’t end with the kick-off. What began as a gathering of individuals has become a team. Fifty players, all issued the outline of the game plan, were gathered for the initial pep talks. Players aren’t ranked on skill-sets but on availability and willingness to get in the game.
Without the fanfare of crowds and cheerleaders, our game has begun.
It’ll be played over the next ten months, where training and development will become woven into the playing schedule. Coaching will be essential–each player has a personal coach to walk them through new plays, new strategies, new game plans.
Having done this for several years, I know the end results. Not the specifics, but the big picture. This disjointed group of strangers will morph into a close-knit community with life-long relationships having been established.
A real team.
Football is a great metaphor for life. Transitions push us into new team modes, where adults and kids alike have to get to know the other players. Not all will get along like best friends, but each can have an appreciation for what others bring to the team.
There are scores and penalties in every game. Some people will accomplish more and may even appear to have the edge on winning game after game. Others find themselves penalized for mistakes they didn’t intend, for errors of judgment in how they proceeded.
What everyone needs to do, however, is be a participant.
It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize how a team is playing or question the intelligence of a coach for the plays he’s directing.
God didn’t make any of us spectators. He made us for the purpose of getting in the game and making a difference with who we are and what we have to offer the world around us.
We may not be top-ranked players. Some of us may struggle with making it on the field.
That’s the toughest part of the game plan. Showing up with a willing heart makes the most valuable player. Just as we are.
With Jesus, we never play alone. He coaches us through the toughest of plays.
And guarantees a win in the end.
Let’s get out there and play some life ball.
Guest Post by:
Dayle Rogers is on Cru staff as a ministry coach for Lake Hart Stint. She is wife to John and Mom and Nana to a growing brood.
Read more from Dayle on her blog, Tip of My Iceberg. You’ll love her view of the bigger (eternal) picture of life, with all its twists and turns, drama and joy, chaos and fun.
Heeeeere’s The Kick-Off! by Dayle Rogers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.