Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Me or We?

1 Peter 4: 7-10 (New International Version)

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

The thunderous pounding of feet, clods of earth flying, youthful voices yelling to one another as with one accord, every muscle, every sense intent on the goal, the players function as a unit – this was the image that sprung to my mind as I sat in the hairdresser’s chair yesterday.

Jamie, my hairdresser, had been chatting about her weekend’s activities, which included watching one of her teenagers in a soccer game. She contrasted the fun of watching “little tykes” play, hearing the coach yelling out instructions to them, with watching her teenager’s team. No longer was it just the coach yelling out instructions, but the players were calling the plays to each other.

This struck me as such a great analogy for any team, or group of believers striving toward a higher level of maturity or professionalism. I loved the image of unity for a common cause. I imagined each player was picked for their position based on their unique skills and abilities but on a team there can be no individualists, only team players with their gifts laid down for the good of the team.

Our western world view centres on the individual, unlike much of the rest of the world where the individual is subservient to the group. Again I find a challenge to be “counter culture” – to be my brother’s keeper, to “love” the “other deeply”, to “use whatever gift” I have to serve.

Dear Lord, change my worldview to a Kingdom worldview. Make me a team player in every sense of the word. I want to serve you and serve others with every gift you’ve placed in me. Help me to mature to the point that I help the teams and groups I belong to, to function in a cohesive, unified manner. Help me to lay down self according to your example, for the betterment of others.