This week, I’m writing on location at The SPIRE Center, a multi-sport complex in Geneva, OH. My daughter has taken up club volleyball and this is her first of many tournaments. I enjoy the change of pace from my normal Sunday morning routine. I’m also grateful for the beautiful fresh dusting of snow on the ground. There’s nothing like a layer of God’s fresh white powder to transform an otherwise mundane landscape into a beautiful work of art. I appreciate God’s purpose for snow, to slow us down, in the midst of our busy schedules and regular tasks, so we can simply rest in his good gifts.
My daughter’s team is designated a 12-year old team, however they have only two 12-year old girls. The majority are 10 and 11, and they are the youngest, most inexperienced team here. The teams they’re up against are older, bigger, stronger and have been playing together for a couple of years. Their first match revealed that disparity.
Needless to say, yesterday morning was a long morning. They lost every set of every match. Their confidence was low and their coaches did their best to teach them and pick up their spirits. After a long mid-day break, they got back at it.
The afternoon was much better. They won their first set after the break and took their opponent into the third set of a best of three match. They ultimately lost the last set, but they fought valiantly. They started to function as a team and exhibited moments of perfection. Dig, set, kill. Their confidence and cohesion rose as they competed throughout the afternoon. There was blood, sweat and tears. They fought the good fight, and the simultaneous look of exhaustion and satisfaction on their faces revealed it. The “well done” they received from their coach was a great way to cap the day.
The adversity they faced was a reminder of what a great team builder it can be, provided the response to it. Everybody has a role. Everyone has a job to do. One person not doing their job means the whole team is off. The coach has to remind the players of that, using bad decisions and unforced errors as constructive learning tools. No one person is above the team. Nobody can do it all themselves. They have to use and trust their teammates. There can’t be one hero getting all the glory, but rather everyone must unselfishly serve their teammates and make heroes of them.
Life is a team sport, and the common good is served by viewing it that way. God will use anyone who believes in him to change the world for the better. Each of us must continually ask, “Am I trying to be the hero, or am I trying to make heroes of others?” All adversity works for the good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
There should be no division of “the team” if its members have equal concern for each other. If one member suffers, every member suffers with them. If one member is honored, everyone celebrates with them. The team grows and builds itself up in love, as each member does their job. Just as every person has one body with multiple parts with different functions working together, a team is comprised of many members with different talents and roles. The team forms one body and each member belongs to all the others.
To the 2020 Revolution 12U team, thank you for the reminder. You set a wonderful example of how to use adversity to build a cohesive team.