Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lessons from the Gym

A friend recently introduced me to her local recreation center, so the other morning I headed there for a walk. The walking track is an elevated balcony overlooking a huge basketball court. This morning there were two boys' games going on as I walked.

Even though I prefer to think and meditate when I walk, I couldn't help but observe the scene below me. The boys were all about 11-14 years of age, and while they've mastered the fundamentals of ball handling and shooting, it was obvious they have a long way to go before they're ready for the big league. Their biggest problem? Every time one of them got the ball, they went for the basket. They haven't yet learned the meaning of teamwork. Their passing game was shabby at best; the few times they did pass, it was more of a desperate attempt to get rid of the ball than part of a plan to score.

While we can overlook the immaturity of young sportsmen, I marveled at the parallel to the Christian life. It's so easy to focus on "the hoop" and neglect the team aspect. It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own doings that we forget, this Christian life is a community thing. You can't do it alone. We need each other, with all our accompanying strengths and weaknesses, to help us on the journey. So why do we try, again and again, to do it alone?

I was reminded, as I watched those young boys, that just as a skilled passing game comes with practice and maturity, so it is with Christian community. It's something we have to learn, and that we only get good at with much time and effort. But when we do, everyone wins.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:15-16

10 comments:

Tami Boesiger said...

Wow, Dianne, did I need to hear this today!! I think I am very guilty of trying to do things on my own. I'm not even sure how it happens. I guess I'm so intent on improving my relationship with God and serving Him that I forget I'm not the only player on the team. Thanks for a great post.

Katrina said...

Great post, Dianne. I tend to be a go-for-the-basket type myself. Maybe not always for all the glory, like some of those boys, but because I don't want to "bug" anyone or impose on them. I'll just handle it myself. Of course, that's not the way God intended things to work at all. Thanks for the reminder.

Tami Boesiger said...

Each Friday I award a "Note of Distinction" to my favorite post of the week. Congratulations on being this week's winner!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Great parallel, what a wonderful post Dianne. :)

Deidre said...

I needed to hear this today, Dianne. I tend to be that person that skips the teamwork and goes straight for the basket. Then, I tend to miss quite often.

Thanks for posting. Love the analogy.

Christina Berry said...

Very nice. You could make this a devotional for The Secret Place. I can give you th elow down if you want it.... ;-)

Kelly said...

What a great life application!

Jennifer said...

You are so smart. It's a great analogy--especially with young boys. I think it takes some maturity to begin working together.

gail said...

So true! Good post Dianne.

e-Mom said...

Visiting from Tami's. What a great way to express our call to be the "body" of Christ (not the head). If we're truly under His Lordship and direction, we'll work together for the good of others. A nice piece!