Whatever your preference in colours, this weekend in Western Australia has been pretty well focussed on the colour purple.
For those who read this blog who don’t live in Australia I need to explain that one of our state’s football teams, the Fremantle Dockers has got into the grand final for Australian Rules Football next weekend for the first time in its 19 year history. Even buildings have turned purple.
But it’s got me thinking a bit about teams. As much as most of us like our own company at some stage, we all have a basic need to live in relationship with other people.
Whether we’re playing football, going to work, staying at home, or going to school, we find ourselves working in teams and it turns out that it’s an essential part of who we are as human beings. We need other people to help us grow and develop, and the people around us need a whole lot of things from us.
I’m not a avid football supporter, but I did watch the big game on Saturday night and one of the things that was obvious to me was that while each footballer played their own game and was able to make a personal contribution to the game, their success was in how they could pass the ball on at the appropriate time to allow another person to take the ball a little further, and yet another person to kick the goal. There was no room for putting personal achievements ahead of the bigger goal of supporting the team.
I’m not completely ignorant about football. I suspect it was a part of the curriculum for boys to play football at Western Australian schools back when I was at high school, however, I was always put into back pocket, a position that I worked out was the safest place to put someone who was likely to drop a mark, couldn’t kick particularly well and couldn’t run fast.
However, while it was a position that was out of the way, and where I could do the least amount of damage, it still felt better to have a place on the team, than to be left out altogether.
There’s always a place on God’s team and what I appreciate most is that while some people are in prominent positions, and others seem to be hidden away, each member of God’s team is important and critical to the team. If we ever find ourselves in “back pocket”, it’s not to keep us out of the way, but because that is where God needs people with our particular skills, personality and strengths. Having the right person in the right place is good for us, and it’s good for the team.
If you want to find out more about this concept read 1 Corinthians chapter 12.