I’ve had the same license plate since 1998, TEAM C. Back then, I wanted COACH C, but it was unavailable in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I “settled” for TEAM C, and little did I know how prophetic it was. Twenty-two years later, TEAM C embodies my calling.
Life has a specific design, a way in which it is intended to work. It’s meant to be lived in community with others, in other words as a team. One can only live a meaningful life in the context of a team. Everyone’s team is different, yet we all have the same purpose, to use our Spirit-empowered gifts and resources to build up the whole team to accomplish our God-given mission on Earth. Investing in the lives of your teammates serves them and the greater good of the team. Our individual motive should be to sacrifice ourselves so that our teammates can do even greater things than us.
Most people act as if living a meaningful life is all about status, having the lofty title, living in the exclusive neighborhood, making a lot of money, driving the fanciest car. In team speak, this is equivalent to having all the right “statistics.” It’s like having a team comprised of star players who are individually successful, however that does not guarantee a cohesive, successful team. In fact, my experiential belief runs counter to that prevailing wisdom.
I believe meaning and purpose is derived by our individual contribution to a team who has players willing to sacrifice personal success for the sake of the team. Players who forget about their own statistics to get the win. Players who subordinate their ego for the benefit of the team.
Back when I wanted COACH C on my license plate, I had an individualistic motive. I wanted Coach C, the nickname given to me my players because my last name was hard to pronounce, to get the glory. I wanted Coach C to get the praise. Sure, I wanted the team to win, but so I could get the accolades.
By settling for TEAM C, I did not realize then that God was giving me an aiming point. I had a hunger to be a coach and teacher, but I had the arena all wrong. Rather than football, my “sport” was to be the professional workplace. Rather than football players, my “athletes” were to be faith-led people who were entrapped by the 9-5 daily grind and trying to live the “American dream.” TEAM C was to be my beacon as I chart my life’s course. Having the benefit of hindsight and a little wisdom, I see that now.
TEAM C helps me to navigate through the good days and bad days. On good days, it’s keeps me humble and reminds me I’m part of something bigger than myself. On bad days, it keeps me focused on my mission and helps me weather the storms. Every day, it points me to my purpose, which is to train professionals for their calling. I’m called to serve and invest in them so that they can do even greater things than me, and we all serve a God who gets all the glory.