Applying champion life lessons learned from the game of sports.

Monday, September 6, 2010

There is Strength In the Numbers

All athletes set goals for themselves.  It's what motivates them to work hard and excel.  Isn't it interesting though that goals are not accomplished individually?  You can have personal goals in athletics, but without the help of your teammates, you won't accomplish much.  In football, does a running back rush for 1000 yards if he has a poor offensive line?  In volleyball, does a hitter get 10 kills in a game without a good setter?  It takes more than [your] individual effort to accomplish [your] goal; it takes everyone.  Are you familiar with the acronym for T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Accomplishes More)?  It's true.  Recall in the movie Gladiator, when Maximus and the prisoners were sent into the arena to face the  Legionnaires of Scipio Africanus.  It was a given that they were going to die that day, in fact they were told to go and die with dignity for the entertainment of the emperor. 

However, Maximus and most of the men with him had a goal of living and defeating their opponent instead of being defeated by them; this became their "team" goal.  Maximus called them all to a tight group, to lock their shields and defend against the opponent until the opportunity to counter attack presented itself.  He kept yelling, "Come Together"; most did and most lived.  Unfortunately, there were a few that felt they didn't need to come into the group, that they could take on their opponent and win on their own.  In the movie, those who stayed outside the group were easy pickings for the opponent.  They were quickly hit with spears and arrows and killed. 

The same is true in life.  If you want to really have an impact, really want to reach your goals and help others achieve theirs, you have to go it together.  When we try to go things alone, we become vulnerable to our [opponent].  In life, the opponent is the devil.  The Bible speaks clearly that the devil came to kill, steal and destroy [us] (John 10:10).  That's his sole intent; to take us out, defeat us.  Just like in athletics, we are locked in a fierce competition and it's for our life. Will our life be used for "good" which is to live a selfless life, give ourselves away, make others better and live a life of serving others and not seeking our own personal wants and desires.  Or, will we be defeated by our "opponent", the devil.  Will he get us separated from the group, out on our own.  Will he win over us by getting us into some of life's traps like pride, lust, addictions and so on?  The battle is real and the devil, our opponent is playing for keeps.  The traps I mentioned are just a few, but there are far many more that exist that once you step in them, you cannot get out of them on your own; just like an animal trap.  Consider addictions to pornography, meth, alcohol and having to resort to stealing just to be able to get some money to support an addiction.  These traps bring about shame, they close the jaws of their trap around your life and render you ineffective.  They place you on the sidelines of life, prevent you from ever getting into the game.  As a result, our "opponent" wins. 

God's design is far better though, so be encouraged.  Just as in sports where it takes everyone to accomplish the goal, the same is true in life.  Without coming together with our teammates we will not accomplish our goal.  In life, not coming together with [teammates] we are left vulnerable to our enemy and there is a strong likelihood that we will be taken out, defeated.  Embrace the Strength in the numbers and the increased chances for success therein and be a part of the team! 


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