(That's me THEN, old no. 21!
(And our 1958-59 team -front row - that's me 3rd from the right -
and my brother 3rd from the left.)
During my Senior year I did not play, but turned my talents from the court to the typewriter, where I wrote the play by plays as Sports Editor of my high school newspaper. However, I would not trade that year of work as a member of the team for anything. You see, I was on the “B” team, and did get to play in games scheduled for that group of players. But with the whole team, I participated in all of the practice sessions, running plays to develop skill and unity on the court, and even running “the bleachers” to develop endurance and stamina, as well as, to pay for missing any of the 50 “freethrows” required at each practice. The team was pushed hard to excel, and excel the team did! I actually became quite good at those “freethrows”, sinking one after another without missing too many. One lap on the bleachers for each one missed was a good motivator. On reflection, perhaps more laps plus excellence with the ball might have helped my performance during the games. As I look back, all in all, it was a significant time in my life and well worth the effort.
As I sat listening during the awards banquet, our former coach rehearsed our team’s success, and I recalled those days some 51 years past now. Many were named out of the school’s past for individual achievement, and with each one, I felt a mixture of humility at being counted among them, but pride because as a part of a team of excellence, perhaps in my small way, I helped in that process.
Weighing the lessons recalled and learned, one valuable truth stands out in my mind. In spite of the many whose names individually are lofted on the honor rolls of excellence, the key to their performance is their participation and unity that comes with being a part of the team. In fact, each of the individual honorees that spoke on receiving their recognition said that only as a part of the team could they have been so honored.
Today, as I reflect on the experience and my part in it, I am once again reminded of the truths that the Word of God giveS us. Paul was passionate about the importance of the TEAM called the Church! In I Corinthians, chapter 12, he writes these important words about the body, the Church. Note that for this point I have replaced the word BODY with TEAM to show the application of this truth.
“For as the TEAM is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one TEAM, being many, are one TEAM: so also is Christ.” (vs 12) “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the TEAM, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the TEAM? But now are they many members, yet but one TEAM. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the TEAM, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the TEAM, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the TEAM together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the TEAM; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” (vss 18-26)
I pray that today you who are members of His body may BE ENCOURAGED THAT AS MEMBERS OF HIS SPECIAL TEAM YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN INDUCTED INTO HIS HALL OF FAME, AND ONE DAY WILL BE SEATED AT THE HEAVENLY BANQUET TABLE OF THE LAMB, AND THERE TO BE HIS TROPHY OF HONOUR!